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Will 'The Liberator' and 'The Uncrowned King' now be joined by 'The Peacemaker'?

Hume's steadfast vision of a pluralist future exerted key influence in America and compelled UK to act, says Maurice Fitzpatrick

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John Hume poses on a rooftop overlooking the Bogside in Derry. Photo: Leif Skoogfors/Getty Images

John Hume poses on a rooftop overlooking the Bogside in Derry. Photo: Leif Skoogfors/Getty Images

John Hume poses on a rooftop overlooking the Bogside in Derry. Photo: Leif Skoogfors/Getty Images

Throughout his life, John Hume embodied many political personae in the public mind: spokesman for Derry; constitutional politician; European; peacemaker; Westminster MP; negotiator; party politician; community activist; and civil rights leader.

Given the longevity and prominence of his presence in Irish public life, it is reasonable to expect a proportionate public awareness of his work. However, that is far from the case.

To younger generations, the full breadth of Hume's political achievement is hardly known, and, for some people, it took Hume's passing to prompt a full reflection on his centrality in recent Irish history.


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John Humeon stage celebrating the Nobel Peace Prize with David Trimble and Bono. Photo: Paul Faith