Lord Alderdice: "John Hume was a man of enormous importance and significance"

3 August 2020, 17:53 | Updated: 3 August 2020, 18:36

By Seán Hickey

A former leader of Northern Ireland's Alliance Party compared John Hume's dedication to peace with that of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement John Hume passed away today aged 83. Lord John Alderdice was speaking to Eddie Mair to reflect on the life and legacy of one of the most influential figures in Irish and Northern Irish politics.

The former leader of the Alliance Party branded Mr Hume "a very determined and thoughtful man," who was "enormously committed to non-violence."

In life as in politics, Lord Alderdice told Eddie that the founding member of the SDLP was "a huge figure." He said that Mr Hume's commitment to non-violence made him "in many ways the one that succeeded after Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela."

He summed up Mr Hume as "a man of enormous importance and significance."

John Hume passed away aged 83
John Hume passed away aged 83. Picture: PA

Eddie wanted to know about Mr Hume's role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. He asked Lord Alderdice just how instrumental John Hume was in shaping and bringing about the Good Friday Agreement.

Lord Alderdice told Eddie that he "can't think of anyone that played a more important role than John Hume."

"Without John, it's very difficult to imagine we would have got a Peace Process and a peace outcome certainly in anything like the timescale that actually happened."