John Hume’s legacy


Sir, – John FitzGerald (Business, August 7th) raises the issue “How your country’s history affects that way you think”.

Among the goodwill directed towards John Hume’s memory in your letters’ columns, Marion Walsh references his parents in the context of poverty in Derry of the 1950s. In the early-to-mid 1960s a kindly gentleman responded to my hitch-hiking efforts at the MI in Belfast heading home for a weekend in Dublin.

A Derry schoolteacher, I’d learn, was en route to Dublin to engage with a burgeoning community banking initiative. I’d subsequently come to realise the Samaritan was president-elect (youngest ever) of the League of Credit Unions in Ireland and within a relatively short passage of time, not unrelated, one surmises, I would be a founding member of the Enfield Credit Union.

Reflecting on the many facets of his very full and selfless life, this poverty-relieving phenomenon would be rated by John Hume as his most cherished legacy. – Yours, etc,


Sutton, Dublin 13.