John Hume: Death of Ian Paisley marks ‘end of an era

John Hume.

John Hume.

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Former SDLP leader John Hume has said the death of Ian Paisley “marks the end of an era”.

Nobel Laureate John Hume said: “I knew Ian Paisley well throughout our many years in politics and we enjoyed a close working relationship in the European Parliament. During this time, Mr Paisley was a larger than life character in Irish politics and a dominant voice within unionism.

“While he was not always constructive and often politically challenging he could, on a personal level, be very charming.

“His overstated outbursts often overshadowed the understated constituency work he carried out for the people of North Antrim - who he represented as an MP and an MLA – and the tireless efforts he made on behalf of Northern Ireland as a member of the European Parliament.

“However, history will record his political career as a journey – one which took him from the politics of division to a place where he accepted agreement as a solution, the need for power sharing and respect for diversity – but history will also ask if he should have reached this point sooner.

“Mr Paisley’s passing marks the end of an era. To Eileen and the extended family, Pat and I wish to express our sincere condolences at this very sad time.”