Former SDLP leader and Nobel peace prize winner John Hume dies at 83 after long battle with dementia
- John Hume, who was the former leader of the SDLP, has died at the age of 83
- The politician was also an MP and MEP during his 35 year long political career
- Hume was awarded 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with fellow politician David Trimble
Former SDLP leader and Nobel peace prize winner John Hume has died at the age of 83, his family has announced.
Mr Hume was the founding member of the Northern Irish political party the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and was awarded the Nobel peace prize for efforts in forging the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.
He was the second leader of the nationalist group, which currently has two MPs in Westminster and 12 MLAs in the Northern Irish Assembly.
Mr Hume held the position from 1979 until 2001.
During that time he also represented the group as an MP in Westminster, holding the Northern Ireland seat of Foyle from 1983 until 2005.
John Hume was the founding member of the Northern Irish political party the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)
He was also the co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with fellow Northern Irish politician David Trimble (left)
He was also an MEP at the European Parliament for the SDLP between 1979 and 2004.
Mr Hume was the co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with fellow Northern Irish politician David Trimble.
In a statement, Mr Hume’s family said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that John passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning after a short illness.
‘Celebrating community in all its diversity went to the heart of John’s political ethos and we are very appreciative that our communities supported, respected and protected John.
‘John was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather and a brother.
‘He was very much loved, and his loss will be deeply felt by all his extended family.
The family added: ‘It seems particularly apt for these strange and fearful days to remember the phrase that gave hope to John and so many of us through dark times: “we shall overcome”.’
Former Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader John Hume and His Wife Pat in 2005
In their statement, the family also paid tribute to those who cared for Hume, who was being cared for at Owen Mor nursing home in Derry before his death.
The family praised the care he received in his final months as ‘exceptional’ and said the family were ‘unfailingly inspired by the professionalism, compassion, and love they have shown to John and all those under their care’.
His funeral will be arranged according to the government’s current Covid-19 regulations, which limits the number of people who can attend.
They said: ‘We realise this will mean that many will be unable to join us and we will arrange a memorial service and a celebration of his life in due course.
‘Above all, we know that John would have prioritised public health, and the safety and health of our communities.
‘We are grateful for your condolences and support, and we appreciate that you will respect the family’s right to privacy at this time of great loss.’