John Hume, KCSG, appointed 8 June, 2012
18 January 1937 – 3 August 2020 - best known as a peace activist, from Derry. He was a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, and was co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize, with Lord David Trimble. He was the second leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), a position he held from 1979 until 2001. He served as a Member of the European Parliament and a Member of Parliament for Foyle, as well as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in the recent political history of Ireland and one of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process there. He is also a recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prizeand the Martin Luther King Award, the only recipient of the three major peace awards. In 2010 he was named "Ireland's Greatest" in a public poll by Irish national broadcaster RTÉ to find the greatest person in Ireland's history. Former teacher and member of Knights of St Columbanus. Student at St. Columb's College and at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, the leading Catholic seminary in Ireland and a recognised college of the National University of Ireland, where he studied for the priesthood. Among his teachers was the future Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich. He did not complete his clerical studies, but did obtain a M.A degree from the college, and then returned home to his native city and became a teacher. He was a founding member of the Credit Union movement in the city. Hume became a leading figure in the civil rights movement in the late 1960s along with people such as Hugh Logue.
Archbishop Eamon MARTIN, Primate of All Ireland, on the announcement of his death stated
“as a priest working in Derry, I came to know John as a man whose convictions were rooted in a deep faith, in prayer and practical Christianity. I was honoured to announce eight years ago that Pope Benedict XVI had conferred on him a papal knighthood in recognition of his commitment to peace, reconciliation, non-violence and social justice. John put Catholic Social Teaching into practice – sometimes at great personal cost and risk – working ceaselessly for a process of reconciliation through which the dignity of every human person is recognised and upheld. For me, this is best summarized in the words of his Nobel Laureate speech (1998):
“I want to see Ireland as an example to men and women everywhere of what can be achieved by living for ideals, rather than fighting for them, and by viewing each and every person as worthy of respect and honour. I want to see an Ireland of partnership where we wage war on want and poverty, where we reach out to the marginalised and dispossessed, where we build together a future that can be as great as our dreams allow.”