John Hume’s legacy: Stubborn figure transformed the relationship between Britain and Ireland

Politician had self-belief to repeat same message for decades until eventually it was accepted by almost everybody

John Hume has died in his home city of Derry. Harry McGee reports on the life of Ireland’s chief architect in the peace process and a man described by Bill Clinton as ‘the Irish conflict’s Martin Luther King’.

John Hume was a towering political figure who helped to redefine Irish nationalism. In the process, he changed Irish politics, North and South, as well as transforming the relationship between the islands of Ireland and Britain.

The current powersharing structure within Northern Ireland, and the institutional structures that define the relationship between the North and the Republic, as well as those between Ireland and the United Kingdom owe more to Hume than anybody else.

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