Clinton to honour Hume when he makes return visit to Derry

ulien Behal/PA Wire
ulien Behal/PA Wire

Former US President Bill Clinton will address the people of Derry in Guildhall Square next Wednesday, March 5.

Almost ten years since his first address there the President intends honouring the contribution of John Hume to peace.

He will also launch ‘Peacemaking In The Twenty-First Century’, a new book celebrating a series of peace lectures given at the University’s Magee campus, this time round.

University of Ulster Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett, said: “The University of Ulster is delighted to strengthen its links with President Clinton and to welcome him back to the city.

“President Clinton is an Honorary Graduate of Ulster, and has a long history of engagement with the university, particularly with our Magee campus in Derry~Londonderry. We are honoured that President Clinton will be with us both to launch the book and to support the developments at INCORE, the university’s international peace and conflict centre, linked to the John Hume and Thomas P O’Neill Chair in Peace.”

Edited by John Hume, Professor T.G. Fraser and Dr Leonie Murray, ‘Peacemaking in the Twenty-First Century’ publishes lectures given by world figures including President Clinton, former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as part of the Tip O’Neill Lecture Series, supported by The Ireland Funds.

Nobel Laureate John Hume held the Tip O’Neill Chair in Peace Studies at the University of Ulster from 2002 to 2009.

Derry City Council is providing support for the event and looking forward to it, Mayor Martin Reilly said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome President Clinton back to the city at this time, to see for himself the significant advances that have been made here in recent years.”

SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey says it is “a worldwide mark of respect” that ‘Ireland’s Greatest’ and Derry’s best known son, Nobel Laureate John Hume is to be honoured by former US President Bill Clinton when he visits the city. Mr Ramsey said the tribute was “fitting” given the historic contribution that John Hume has made for peace.

He said: “I had the great honour of conferring the ‘Freedom Of The City’ on John Hume in 2000 when I was Mayor of Derry. John is the only person to receive this honour in 50 years so, it is more than fitting that John and Pat are having this further honour conferred on them by President Clinton, in the town that John loves so well.

“No one will forget the emotion and sense of hope from that day in 2001 when John joined President Clinton in Guildhall Square, in his own home town. To have President Clinton return to Derry; a city which is a shining example of how people live together and work for a better future is fantastic. Derry has just had a brilliant year as ‘City of Culture’, which showed the world just how great a city Derry and all its people are. When President Clinton steps back onto Guildhall Square next Wednesday he will no doubt see a city transformed, and the legacy of John Hume’s never ending commitment for peace in the North.”