The International Fund for Ireland has paid tribute to the former leader of the SDLP John Hume.
Paddy Harte, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said;
“We have lost one of the greatest peacemakers of our time. John was a friend and a true inspiration to us all.
“He was relentless in his quest for peace and reconciliation, achieving it by advocating empathy and tolerance and pursuing it by non-violent means. His involvement in the Anglo-Irish Agreement was key and he made it clear that communities had to benefit from the Peace Process. The International Fund for Ireland was a direct result of his vision, ensuring the most marginalised communities would be part of a better and more tolerant society.
“Witty, warm and always accessible, he built up key relationships with influential figures, including Irish/American Politician Tip O’Neill, who then officially put a proposal forward to President Reagan for a new International Fund for Ireland. I firmly believe that the IFI set the tone in establishing the working relationships which led to many of the subsequent developments in the Peace Process, not least of which the Good Friday Agreement.
“His passion paved the way for peace and reconciliation as we know it today, leaving those darkest days of the Troubles firmly in the past. He leaves a legacy for peacemakers across the world and it is thanks to his influence that I hope we can continue our journey towards peace, knowing he has played an instrumental role in our work at the Fund.
“Throughout his career, John was constantly supported by his wife Pat, and to her and the family, I offer my sincere condolences.”
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