“Derry and the whole island are now in mourning after the death of our friend, guide and greatest peacemaker,” said current SDLP leader Colum Eastwood. “We can never repay everything John has done for us, but we can live the values that have been so dear to him.” While he and Mr. Trimble thanked the people of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, it was Hume`s diplomacy that gave the impetus to the peace process. Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin hailed Hume as a “true peacemaker.” “During the darkest days of paramilitary terrorism and sectarian clashes, he kept hope alive. And with patience, resilience and unwavering commitment, he triumphed and gave a victory for peace,” he said. Later, in all-party negotiations, he led the UUP delegation and sat at the table with Sinn Féin, although he never spoke directly with its leader Gerry Adams during the eight months of negotiations. [6] [11] The talks were successful and culminated in the Belfast Agreement of 10 April 1998, which resulted in a power-sharing with the nationalists. [10] [11] On 22 May 1998, voters in Northern Ireland approved the agreement by 71%. [11] “When others were stuck in the ritual politics of condemnation, John Hume had the courage to take real risks to peace,” he added. The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland called Hume a “model of peace, a giant of a statesman whose legacy of tireless service of the common good is celebrated internationally.” What an extraordinary man, peacemaker, politician, leader, civil rights activist, family man, derryman, inspiration,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney wrote on Twitter. After the 1998 peace agreement, Hume was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with David Trimble, then president of the Ulster Unionist Party. “He has made an important contribution to the policy in Northern Ireland, particularly the process that gave us an agreement that we are still developing,” he said. Hume, the Catholic leader of the Social Democratic and Moderate Labour Party, was seen by many as the main architect behind the peace agreement.

During these years, he was definitely the mastermind behind the approach to the peace process. “The solution will not be found on the basis of a victory for both, but on the basis of an agreement and a partnership between the two. Over the past 30 years, the national, religious and social conflict in Northern Ireland has claimed the lives of more than 3,500 people. John Hume has always been the clearest and most consistent of Northern Ireland`s political leaders in his work for a peaceful solution. The foundations of the peace agreement signed on Good Friday 1998 reflect the principles he defended. In October 1998, Trimble and John Hume were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. [46] The Nobel Institute stated that the two main political parties in the agreement were the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led by David Trimble, and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), led by John Hume. The two heads of state and government together won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. The other parties to the agreement were Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party and the Progressive Unionist Party. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which later became the largest Unionist party, did not support the agreement.

When Sinn Féin and loyalist parties entered, they left the talks because republican and loyalist paramilitary weapons had not been decommissioned. Trimble began his career as a law professor at Queen`s University Belfast in the 1970s, during which he began to engage with the Progressive Party of Unionism paramilitary associated Vanguard. He was removed from the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention in 1975 and joined the UUP in 1978 after the dissolution of the VPUP. [3] He remained at Queen`s University until he was elected member of Parliament for the Upper Bann in 1990.