“Political change not served by violence”

S.D.L.P Leader John Hume said yesterday that twenty years of civil unrest in Northern Ireland had only served to strengthen his belief that political change was not served by violence. He described violence as “a catalyst of hate that can only create new divisions among a divided people.”

In a major speech in Berlin where he addressed the Congress of European Socialist and Social Democratic Parties, the Foyle M.P said events in Eastern Europe had shown that the silent dignity of masses of people gathered in non-violence could bring about more change and expose in minutes more repression than years of gunfire and bloodshed.

He added: “Those who use the methods of the oppression tend to end up worse than the oppressor.”

Mr Hume said that despite the number of people in Northern Ireland who were paralysed by the past, he was not despondent about the future.