Wednesday 21 February 2018

Blessed are the peacemakers who did right from the very start

John Hume and Martin McGuinness both came from the same troubled city but they made different choices in life
Voice of reason: John Hume and wife Pat arriving at the church in Derry for Martin McGuinness's funeral Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Voice of reason: John Hume and wife Pat arriving at the church in Derry for Martin McGuinness's funeral Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Fergal Keane

All week I have carried the image of a brave Irishman in my mind. He is a man who never lifted his hand in anger against an enemy, much less helped direct the shooting and bombing that warped the future of thousands. He is a blessed man. A peacemaker.

As it happens he comes from the same city as Martin McGuinness, who, by his own admission, did deal in death and destruction before his conversion to political realism.

There was a time when this other Derry man dominated our television, radio and newspapers. John Hume's voice evoked calm and argued with reason while others urged on the sectarian mobs or spewed out weasel words justifying atrocity.

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