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Friday, 7th August 2020

Nash ‘privileged’ to attend John Hume’s funeral

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Drogheda and East Meath’s Labour TD Ged Nash has said he was “absolutely privileged” to be among the small number of people who had the honour of attending the funeral of John Hume in Derry on Wednesday.

“John Hume was without doubt the most significant Irish nationalist and republican figure in the last half a century” the Labour TD said.

“He was proud of his relationship with the Irish Labour Party and our European Party (the Party of European Socialists during his time as an MEP) and I was truly honoured to represent the party and the Labour tradition on the island of Ireland at John’s moving, poignant and dignified funeral service.

“It is often glanced over that when the Nobel Laureate, statesman and peacemaker first came to public prominence it was initially as a fighter for jobs, housing and an end to discrimination in the town he loved so well.

“He was absolutely imbued with social democratic values and a yearning for a lasting peace and true reconciliation during is remarkable life of public service and sacrifice.

“The Good Friday Agreement is his lasting legacy and the settlement in the north owes more to John Hume than to anybody else.

“He consistently and for over thirty years railed against the gunmen and the mayhem and murder perpetrated by the IRA and loyalist terrorists.

“He knew there was a different way and through a relentless, decades-long campaign his belief that there was another way forward for Northern Ireland, a democratic and agreed way, eventually won the day.

“John Hume’s work on an agreed Ireland is a work in progress and is not yet complete.

“It is so important in the years and in the challenges ahead that those of us in positions of leadership and responsibility north and south continue to be informed by his principles and build on his example and legacy to build a new, reconciled Ireland where all traditions are equal, fully accommodated and respected and indeed celebrated in all their rich diversity.”


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