Micheál Martin hails 'political giant' John Hume as 'passionate supporter of EU'

Taoiseach Micheál Martin described John Hume as a 'political giant' and 'a passionate supporter of the European Union' in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week.

By Kevin Mullan
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 12:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2022, 12:19 pm

He said: "John Hume was a political giant. A proud Irish nationalist and democrat, he dedicated his life to the cause of serving his people and persuading the minority to abandon violence and join in democratic politics.

"John was passionate about his country’s future – and that is why he was also a passionate supporter of the European Union.

"John had the vision to see the narrative of Ireland’s path to peace in the wider narrative of peace in Europe – a peace built on respect for political and cultural diversity cemented with economic inter-dependence."

Sign up to our daily Derry Journal Today newsletter

Euro Parliament president Roberta Metsola and Taoiseach Micheál Martin unveil the sculpture of John Hume in Strasbourg. DAINA LE LARDIC/EUROPEAN UNION

Mr. Martin told MEPs that any move by the British Government to renege on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and Irish Protocol it negotiated, agreed and signed with the EU 'would mark a historic low-point signalling a disregard for essential principles of laws which are the foundation of international relations'.

Read More

Read More
Gary Middleton: DUP received mandate to deal with Protocol and are ‘resolute’

He pointed out that 'without a spirit of partnership, there would have been no peace process'.

The Taoiseach also referred to how the late John Hume 'overcame opposition from both extremes to chart a peaceful way forward for Ireland'.

"His integrity and bravery shone through. With another courageous politician, David Trimble, he was awarded the Nobel prize for an unwavering commitment to peace.

"He won every election he stood in and served in this Parliament for 25 years.

"It is one of the many harsh realities of the Brexit vote of 2016 that no serious consideration was given to the implications for Northern Ireland and the agreement which underpins peace and reconciliation," he stated.