I was saddened to learn this morning of the death of Mr John Hume KCSG, a founding member of the SDLP in 1970.
On behalf of the Diocese of Down and Connor and its clergy, religious and people, I offer our deepest sympathies and prayerful condolences to his wife Patricia, his children, grandchildren and the wider Hume family.
I had the honour of meeting John personally in his role as a Member of the European Parliament where he worked assiduously as a member, and for a time as Vice-President, of the Socialist Group. As an MEP, John was also a Member of the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism and a Substitute Member on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, all of which evidenced his deep commitment to his electorate and the wider region.
Motivated by a strong personal faith and responding to the needs of the community, John was a champion of Human Rights. He actively sought to protect the most vulnerable across society. He exercised and exemplified a model of civic leadership through dialogue. John had a visionary capacity to view the local political and societal challenges through the wider prism of human dignity and International partnership.
As a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 with David Trimble, John was duly recognised and will be fondly remembered as an architect of reconciliation and peace in Northern Ireland, especially in his home city of Derry.
John Hume uniquely shaped a new and prophetic political narrative which enabled the decommissioning and disarmament of weapons and generated an infrastructure for a peace process that led to the Good Friday Agreement, and the foundations of a new politics that is his lasting legacy.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
· Bishop Noel Treanor is Bishop of Down and Connor.