March 7, 2002
For more than 30 years Nobel Laureate John Hume has been a driving force behind many of the significant attempts to resolve conflict in Northern Ireland. He is the 1998 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and also the 2001 recipient of India’s prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize which is given for outstanding work and contribution to social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.
Hume, who has been unequivocally opposed to violence as a means of resolving conflicts, has been widely credited with bringing unionists and republicans together to make the peace process possible. He is the past president and founder of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, the largest nationalist party in the North of Ireland, representing more than 60 percent of the nationalist community.
A former teacher, Hume first came to prominence through the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, when Catholics demanded substantial changes to the way Northern Ireland was run. The most crucial phase of his political career came in 1988 when Hume began a series of contacts with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. These were to prove crucial in developing the current process. Further talks became public in 1993 amid considerable controversy and hostility, especially from unionists.
“Laureate John Hume has been a tireless advocate for peaceful resolution of violence in Northern Ireland,” said Gearan, sponsor of the President’s Forum Series. “At this time in our history John Hume’s experiences will surely offer a perspective worth listening to.”
Read the article on Hume's visit from the Catholic Courier.
This President's Forum Series speaker was underwritten in large part by Wilmorite, Inc. and Eastview Mall.