Pat Hume talked of John’s ‘love of people’ in last interview

In the last interview before her death, Pat Hume, widow of the late Nobel Peace Laureate, John, discussed the faith and vision that sustained him.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:40 am
Pat Hume and Mary McAleese.

Mrs Hume spoke to former Irish President Mary McAleese about how the world would be a “better” place if more of her husband’s ideas on respect for diversity, community well-being and non-violence “come through”.

The late peace campaigner was interviewed by Mrs McAleese for her new documentary, `With God On Our Side’, which will be screened on BBC One NI on Wednesday night (10.35pm).

In the programme, Mrs McAleese meets politicians and peacemakers, perpetrators and victims of violence to ask what role religion played in creating and resolving conflict in Northern Ireland and whether it still has a role to play in building peace in a more secular, diverse, post-Brexit society.

Among those she talks to is Mrs Hume who died in September after a short illness.

Mrs Hume said her husband’s “love of people” was “central” to everything he did.

“Well, a love of people comes straight from heaven,” she said.

“Do onto others as you would, that they should do onto you.

“He couldn’t drive that home hard enough”.

Asked about her husband’s decision to enter into the Hume/Adams talks in the mid-1980s - now hailed as a pivotal moment in the nascent peace process - Mrs Hume said it had been a “very difficult thing to do”.

“John had let it be known that he wanted to talk to the IRA and do everything that he could do to persuade them to stop and show them the futility of it all and what it was doing to people,” she said.

“He talked about patriotism and patriotism should be about building for your country not destroying. Patriotism should be about spilling your sweat for your country, not your blood.”

Mrs Hume (83) also revealed how bullets in the post and threats were “common place” for the family, adding that her husband would have been “destroyed” by Brexit as he was “such a European”.

She added: “His ideas of respect for diversity and inclusion. His ideas for community well-being. His ideas for non violence. I think the more that they come through, the better the world will be”.

Among the other people featured in the programme are former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, ex-DUP leader Arlene Foster, former Methodist president Rev Harold Good, Alan McBride, whose wife and father-in-law were among 10 people killed in the Shankill fish shop bomb, and Russell Watton, who was given three life sentences for a loyalist gun attack on a Catholic bar.