Tributes to Pat Hume


September 16, 2021 17:31

EU flags at the European Commission Berlaymont building

Phenomenal Grace, a wonderful tribute to Pat Hume by Susan McKay RTE Radio Sunday Miscellany August 2020

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dhílis.

Brid Rodgers on RTE Claire Byrne Show

Sunday with Miriam beautiful interview with Pat Hume November 2015

Pat Hume obituary: John’s intellectual equal who strove for peace

Wife made politician’s lifepossible, while simultaneously participating fully in it

IrishTimes Sep 9, 2021, 12:14

Hume, who has died aged 83, was the woman who made John Hume’slife’s work possible, while simultaneously participating fully in it – as hispartner and his intellectual equal.

In the early years of their marriage before her husband’sground-breaking political career, she was the family breadwinner. During spasmsof republican intimidation directed at him, as well as violent attacks on theirDerry home, she protected their children, while bolstering her and herhusband’s shared resolve to continue working for an agreed solution to NorthernIreland’s political and sectarian feuding.

And in the sunny uplands of peace following the Belfast Agreement, sheshared in the effusive gratitude bestowed on her husband, throughout Ireland,as well as in Britain, Europe and North America.

On her death after a brief illness, the President of Ireland, Michael DHiggins, noted that while her support for John was “a partnership in courage,endurance and fortitude, her personal contribution was unique, immense andimportant in its own right”.

Her parents were Patrick and Mary Hone. Patrick ran a small business asa building contractor while Mary ran the family home

The life of Pat Hume was one of “total commitment to community, to thepossibilities of peace, to the measures of non-violence that were necessary toassert, vindicate and achieve the results of civil rights,” said PresidentHiggins.

Similar sentiments were expressed internationally, with former USpresident Bill Clinton commenting that “she lived her life and advanced hercause with such grace, courage and good humour”.

At her funeral in Derry’s St Eugene’s Cathedral, her son Aidan said JohnHume “was a parcel and Mum delivered him... Mum was at his right handthroughout his entire life – his best friend, his closest confidante, hisloving wife, his trusted adviser, his political antenna”.

Patricia (Pat) Hume was born in Derry city’s Protestant-dominatedWaterside where she grew up on Cross Street. Her parents were Patrick and MaryHone. Patrick ran a small business as a building contractor while Mary ran thefamily home.

Pat was one of six children, her siblings being Tommie, Patsy, Sadie,Ella and May.

On her mother’s side, the family had strong connections to Donegal, likemany people in Derry, and childhood summers were often spent there across theborder.

After primary school, the young Pat attended Thornhill Convent School,run by the Sisters of Mercy in Derry City, on the opposite side of the RiverFoyle to the Waterside. Subsequently, she went to St Mary’s, a teacher-trainingcollege in west Belfast, after which she taught in several primary schools inDerry, including St Anne’s in Rosemount.

Almost all her pupils were from economically deprived backgrounds andPat Hume believed passionately in the power of education to lift people intobetter circumstances.

In secure employment by her early 20s, Pat Hume would likely havesettled into a satisfying teaching career (which she loved). But an encounterat the Borderland dance hall in Muff, Donegal, a Friday night favourite for upto 2,000 people, many from Derry, dancing to showbands including the Capitol,the Melody Aces, the Royal and the Clipper Carlton, changed all that.

Through the 1960s, John, who was also a teacher, became increasinglyinvolved in community-based politics, an unpaid role that also fired theenthusiasm of Pat Hume and which quickly took over his life

Aged 22, she and John Hume married. It was, she agreed happilythereafter, love at first sight. They settled into married life in a small homeon Beechwood Avenue before moving, as their family grew, to a larger house at nearbyWestend Park.

There, they lived on a Victorian terrace sandwiched between thenationalist-dominated Creggan and Bogside estates, both of which suffered theeffects of long-standing political, economic and social discrimination at thehands of the city’s unionist rulers, who, while being a numerical minority,retained power by gerrymandering -- manipulating the electoral system to theirown advantage.

Through the 1960s, John, who was also a teacher, became increasinglyinvolved in community-based politics, an unpaid role that also fired theenthusiasm of Pat Hume and which quickly took over his life.

As John Hume’s profile and political career – as a Westminster MP andthen Member of the European Parliament – grew, his opposition to state violenceand the physical force republicanism of Sinn Féin and the IRA itself drew aviolent response. Threatened regularly, he repeatedly declined police advice tocarry a gun for protection, even when republicans firebombed the family homeand protested outside it.

During what could have been a traumatic time for their children, PatHume remained calm and ensured the family home was disrupted as little aspossible.

“As our mother, she was unflappable,” recalls her son, also named John.“We lived through some very strange times but she made everything feelnormal... She stayed calm and reassured us. We never saw [the threats] aschildren. She dealt with it.”

Pat Hume recalled those times in a contribution for the Seán Farren& Denis Haughey edited book, John Hume Irish Peacemaker (Four Courts Press2015).

“When I look back, I wonder how we all survived the years thatfollowed,” she wrote. “There was the ever increasing cycle of rioting andarrests. Young people coming to a disco or just going down town for a messagecould be taken for questioning by security forces in the city. Worried parentswere constantly at the house or on the phone as we tried to trace theiroffspring.

“John often put out statements on how counter-productive violence wasand these usually resulted in protests outside our house. The irony was thatthe next day, the same protesters could arrive at the door but this timelooking to convey a particular problem alongside the other distraught families.

“Over those years, intimidation affected the whole community across theNorth. We received daily telephone calls threatening violence and we had anongoing stream of abusive letters and bullets in the post. The house wasattacked several times. We had to leave on a number of occasions and relied onthe hospitality of kind friends who provided shelter for myself and the fivechildren whenever we were warned by the police that things were too dangerousto stay at home.”

During talks leading to the Belfast Agreement, Pat Hume established herown rapport with the wives of unionist politicians, notably Daphne Trimble

Pat Hume eventually gave up full-time teaching to work with her husbandand when he was elected an MEP in 1979, she set up and ran his full-time officein Derry until he retired from Europe in 2005.

“As a family, it was very clear to us that he wouldn’t have got anywherewithout her,” says their son John. “She was his equal intellectually and interms of drive and determination, it was clear there was two of them in it.”

During talks leading to the Belfast Agreement, Pat Hume established herown rapport with the wives of unionist politicians, notably Daphne Trimble,wife of the Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble. On her death, BaronessTrimble said: “I have lost a true friend.”

Pat Hume was not shy in speaking her mind in support of the peaceprocess. In 2018 when political stalemate was strangling politics in NorthernIreland, Pat Hume was clear that generosity was needed between the DUP and SinnFéin, as well as the “softening voices of other parties” during talks to try torestore the power-sharing Executive.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to have the two extreme parties closetedtogether,” she said. “It is important to have the mix of voices, the softeningvoices of other parties . . . John always saw the big picture. Politics havebecome small, his politics were inclusive, outward looking.”

In her latter years, Pat Hume was renowned for the love and devotion sheshowed her husband, caring for him as he declined with dementia.

In 2018, she was given an Irish Red Cross Lifetime Achievement award.Last year during Derry’s History 2020 Festival, an image of her was projectedonto the Tower Museum, an acknowledgement of her role in the city’s, andIreland’s, history.

Sean Farren, chairman of the John and Pat Hume Foundation, launched in2020, said she had always been “a source of strength and support to Johnsharing his values, his ideas and his approach to peace and to endingconflict”.

She had “assisted many young people caught up in the Troubles and dealtwith issues presented to her by thousands who were encountering housingproblems, social security issues and health and education concerns”.

Her son John summed up her life thus: “She was a quiet person and neverthrust herself into the limelight. She devoted herself to Dad and was more thanhappy with her life.

“I know she died a very happy women.”

Predeceased by John in August 2020, Pat Hume is survived by theirchildren, Thérèse, Áine, Aidan, John and Mo; their grand-children Aedín,Michael, Roisín, Dee, Daniel, Ruairí, Marni, Úna, Ronan, Ciara, Isabel, Eamon,Ollie, Rachel, Darragh and Aoibhe; great-grandchildren Aoibhínn and Clodagh,and by her sister May.

The Guardian - Pat Hume obituary

Teacher and wife of the SDLP politician John Hume,she provided stalwart support to her husband as he played a key role in theNorthern Ireland peace process

Henry McDonald, The GuardianObituary Mon 6 Sep 2021

Pat Hume, whohas died aged 83, was the highly regarded rock and anchor in the life ofher Nobel peace laureate husband John. From the very early years of the Northern IrelandTroubles in the late 1960s to the peace process and the Good Friday agreementthree decades later, Pat provided sanctuary, support and often vital advice toJohn as he worked determinedly for a peaceful compromise to the conflict.

So respectedwas Pat that in 2004, when John stepped down from his seat in the Europeanparliament, many of his colleagues inside the Social Democratic and LabourParty saw Pat as their salvation in the face of a post-ceasefire Sinn Féinsurge.

Some seniormembers of the SDLP tried to persuade her to run for the party in the Europeanparliament election. They believed that in view of her enormous popularity,which straddled the political-religious divide in NorthernIreland, she could save the seatfor the party. But she declined the offer, preferring instead to look after herailing husband, who by then was already suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Throughoutmore than four politically turbulent decades, Pat’s number one priority remainedstanding by and caring for the man she had met at a dance hall in Muff, overthe border in Co Donegal, in 1958. They married two years later.

Pat (neeHone), one of six children, grew up on what was then the mainly Protestant eastbank of the River Foyle in Derry. The family lived in Cross Street, close tothe main road out of Derry to Belfast, and her father was a building contractor.Educated at Thornhill college in the city, she later studied to become ateacher at St Mary’s Training College in Belfast. She returned to Derry as aprimary school teacher.

One of herformer pupils, Anne Donnelly, who in later life would become an SDLP councillorin Derry, recalls a woman who was passionate about thepower of education lifting up children from impoverished backgrounds.

“I don’t thinkit is any exaggeration to say 95% of the children in Pat’s class lived inpoverty. Derry in the late 50s and early 60s was a very poor town with massunemployment,” Donnelly recalled. “In class, however, Pat told us we could beanything we wanted to be. She also encouraged children to work hard, study andget on. Pat truly believed in the potential of every child.”

Thecombination of that poverty with unionist gerrymandering and discriminationagainst Catholics fuelled the civil rights movement that her husband Johnjoined in the mid-60s. The unionist government overreaction and violentsuppression of the peaceful protest movement, which had been modelled on MartinLuther King’s activism in the US, helped to spark the conflagration that becamethe Troubles in 1969. In February that year John was elected MP for Foyle inthe Stormont parliament.

At timesopposition to the unionist state, the disastrous militarised response of theBritish government to rising violence on the streets and the armed campaigns ofthe IRA and loyalists could be physically dangerous. The Humes’ family home inDerry was attacked several times, and on one occasion republicans bugged thehouse to gather intelligence about the founding member of the SDLP in 1970 whowent on to succeed Gerry Fitt as its leader in 1979.

Throughout themaelstrom of sectarian conflict and state repression, Pat ensured their homeremained a peaceful haven. She also made those who regularly paid visits to herhusband in Derry or across the border at their holiday home in Donegal,politicians and journalists alike, extremely welcome and well looked after.

One SDLP veteran said that Pat also played a criticalbehind-the- scenes role in quelling disputes: “She was the party’s ultimatediplomat who never had a bad word for anyone. Even if you had a row with Johnover policy or strategy Pat would maintain warm relations with you. Shesmoothed over arguments and got people talking to each other,” he said.

As the peaceprocess progressed in the 90s, climaxing with the Belfast agreement, Patestablished warm relations too with the families of unionist politicians whomher husband was doing business with, most notably David and Daphne Trimble. Thewife of the unionist co-signatory to the 1998 agreement said that she and Pathad been able to “gel together” as their husbands came under pressure fromopponents on all sides: “We both lived with the threat of violence hanging overour heads and bringing up children in that ... I have lost a true friend.”

The presidentof Ireland and the family’s long-time friend and formerUS president, Bill Clinton, paid tribute to Pat Hume’s quiet, unsung butimportant contribution to peace in Northern Ireland.

John Hume diedlast year, after he and Pat had been married for six decades. She is survivedby their five children, Thérèse, Áine, Aidan, John and Mo, 16 grandchildren,two great-grandchildren and her sister, May.

 PatriciaHume, teacher, born 22 February 1938; died 2 September 2021



Pat Hume: Thewoman who never gave up

Pat Hume played a key role for the people ofDerry in her 60-year partnership with her late husband

MonicaMcWilliams, Irish Times Sat, Aug 8, 2020

Pat Hume canmove mountains. She had to scale so many obstacles working alongside herhusband John during times of great personal and political risk. She took herhusband’s good suit to be dried when he was soaked by a water cannon on thestreets of Derry in 1968. When John set up Derry Credit Union she made sure themoney and accounts were clear.

Pat was in her own right abrilliant community politician; she ran the constituency office dealing withcommunity issues, housing and poverty. Every person, irrespective of religiousidentity, was treated with respect and compassion when they sought herassistance.

She stood beside John in a lonelyplace after he was shunned for talking to men who others didn’t want to talkto. She was a brilliant thinker and close adviser to John at all the keypolitical moments. After the Shankill bombing in 1993, Pat began to doubt ifthe talks with Sinn Féin would work. But she was convinced by John and by theresponse of bereaved victims after the Greysteel shooting, who prayed for Johnat the wakes of their loved ones and asked him to keep going.

She was a wonderful mother andprotector of her family. When loyalists and republicans targeted the familyhome, both she and the children were at risk. One night when John was away,republicans threw a stone through the living room window along with a petrolbomb with the Hume children inside.

That was the kind of danger shefaced, occasionally taking her children by the hand and ushering them to safetyin Donegal. And stillshe held out her hand and not a fist, holding on to the belief that there was,and still is, a non-violent way to resolve the conflict. She accompanied herpeace-building work with justice.


She made the cups of tea for thepowerful “chats”, allowing politicians to find ways to counter the violencethat had become so normal. She took it all in her stride. There were phonecalls from journalists and politicians to be answered at all hours and multipleconcerns to be addressed with a constant stream of visitors to her home. Johnwas preoccupied abroad so it was left to Pat to work out the logistics.

Her neighbours were glad to helpout and were there to console her as well as to share a laugh.

One of the laughs came from anunusual source. In 1974 John had a ministerial car and his driver took illbringing him back to Derry. Pat put the sick man in a bedroom and called thedoctor. When the driver was asked to roll up his sleeve, his arm was covered intattoos that said “Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right” and “For God andUlster”, which he protested he had done in his young and foolish years.

Pat made him tea and toast and heslept soundly that night. He told her afterwards that none of the driverswanted to take John to Derry but he had pulled the short straw. Her childrencame to love the driver for the duration of the time that John was the ministerof commerce.

Hume children

How did Pat Hume raise fivechildren in the midst of this mayhem? If parity, like charity, starts in thehome, the Hume children are the proof of that. I got to know Mo Hume, Pat andJohn’s daughter, through her work in El Salvador. She continues to work onhuman rights concerns at the University of Glasgow. She is a chip off the oldblock, following the example of Pat and John, as a front-line human rightsdefender.

Pat started her career as ateacher, bringing in money when John was out of a job following the collapse ofthe power-sharing arrangements and the Sunningdale Agreement in 1974. Sheremains a role model by practising what she preaches and the people of Derryknow it, giving her a three-minute standing ovation when she walked into theGuildhall on the 50th anniversary of civil rights.

She has talked about what life waslike following John’s dementia. This week her family spoke highly of herconstant care for John during his long years of illness. In her interviewon RTÉ in2015, Pat talked insightfully about John’s loss of memory so we could all learnhow to better respond to the issue of dementia.

John’s mantra “we need todecommission mindsets” was something Pat knew off by heart and it was achallenge. But she never gave up. I cherished her hugs as she knew how much Ineeded them to cope with the abuse that was being thrown at women, like myself,in the midst of the peace talks. Bríd Rodgers – another inspirational woman –said Pat knows how to pour oil on troubled waters. She is as wise as she isclever, an astute politician staying calm and unflustered while making toughdecisions.

Pat became a champion for victimsof the Troubles when appointed to the NorthernIreland MemorialFund in 1998, just after the Good Friday [Belfast] Agreement. It had been saidthat there are people alive today who might not have been because of John’sgood work. And there are children who were educated who might not have beenbecause of Pat. Her work with victims included grants for their children toattend college and receive assistance.

Like most of Pat’s work,that is an untold story. I watched as Pat, with Daphne Trimble, wife offirst minister David Trimble, wentfundraising around cities in the US and her public speeches made us want to diginto our pockets.

Pat was awarded an honorary doctorate from Ulster University in recognition ofher work, presented in her own city at Magee College inDerry. Pat is loved and respected, locally and globally, and is widelyrecognized, despite wanting to stay out of the limelight.

It is time to return those hugsand help recharge the batteries after the passing of her beloved husband. Itwould have been their 60th wedding anniversary in December.

It is fitting that the John andPat Hume Foundation is named after both of them. I hope we can fulfil theFoundation’s mission to promote peaceful change and reconciliation. They are somuch needed in our still troubled land.

MonicaMcWilliams represented the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition in theMulti-Party Peace Talks leading to the Belfast Agreement. She is currentlywriting a memoir, to be published by Blackstaff Press next spring


Eulogy By Aidan Hume for his Mum Pat


Aidan Hume, StEugene’s Cathedral Monday 6 September

Unfortunately, four of Mum’s grandchildren, Roisin, Ruairi, Ronan and Ciaracannot be with us today, however while they may not be here physically, theyare all with us in spirit.


My mother’s maternal grandmother livedwith a large family in a 2 roomed cottage on the side of a mountain in Barnesin Donegal, a place she often visited.


Asked about her family history, shecommented on their generosity to any passing caller “No one was ever turnedaway.”- if they needed food or a bed for the night, despite the hardships theyfaced themselves.  


Mum learned that lesson well and thisdefined her attitude towards life and living.


Born in 1938 as the youngest of afamily of six, Babs Hone was, as she would always say, a war baby, and thescrapings of the pot.


Like many of her generation she wasthe first in her family to go to University, turning down a place in pharmacyat Queen’s for teacher training in St Mary’s in Belfast.  Mum chose her career well – she lovedteaching and was great at it.  


Her interest in the Irish languagethrough school and college years took her to Irish colleges in Teilann,Rannafast and Rosgill – where she made lifelong friends.


Dad would often say that he was aparcel and Mum delivered him. But that only tells a small part of thestory.  


Mum was at his right hand throughouthis entire life – his best friend, his closest confidante, his loving wife, histrusted adviser, his political antennae. ….and (and I don’t think dad wouldmind me saying this) she was most definitely the more glamourous side of thepartnership.


And that’s before we consider theendless back scratching, moderating his chocolate intake, and putting up withhim having his dessert whilst she was still eating her main course.


For us, she was the calm at the centreof chaotic times, able to impart a sense of safety and love, which sustained uswhen the world around us was full of uncertainties. No matter how crazy ordifficult the situation, she was unflappable.


Mum loved to laugh and her laughterwas infectious. As a family we were happiest squeezed around the kitchen table,crying with laughter at some story - often told by her sister Ella.


She found great solace in nature andloved walking, as children taking us on evening walks to Bunbeg harbour to seethe boats and smell the honeysuckle.


She’d climb from Burt chapel toGrianan with us when we were teenagers, and somehow after a walk and a chat,any problems we were having that day would seem less important.


In later years, she walked the Movillecoastal path, a short walk often turning into many long conversations, as she’dchat to everyone. There was no such thing as a quick walk with Pat Hume.


Mum always focused on the positives inlife – always smiling, always happy.  Shewas deeply spiritual and had an incredible faith, but it was a privatefaith.  She tried to guide us and let usdiscover it for ourselves, rather than imposing it upon us.


As a mother, one of the greatest giftsshe gave us was the fundamental knowledge that we were loved – unconditionally-and this love has carried us all through different circumstances in our ownlives.  


Her grandchildren knew she was special– she adored them all and made sure they knew it. Her two great grand-childrenalso gave her great joy.


Mum always had the good fortune tohave great neighbours, in Beechwood Avenue, West End Park, Greencastle and inrecent years in Clarendon Manor.


Mum remained deeply interested inpolitics and the radio was on most of the day, RTE at the weekends and radioFoyle during the week. Right up to the end, she was always there to provideadvice and wise counsel to today’s leadership of the SDLP.


In lockdown, for the first time in herlife she had time to watch TV, and developed a love for period dramas – How Greenis My Valley, Cranford, the Barchester Chronicles were all lockdown favourites.And when she had finished a box set she would often start it again – becauseshe enjoyed it so much the first time.  


Human connection was fundamental toMum’s existence – Mum was a people person. She treated everyone she met with the same respect and same remarkablegrace, no matter where they were from or whatever their station in life.  


She had an incredible ability toestablish a special connection with everyone she met and to find a way tobrighten up the lives of everyone around her.  


Mum knew everyone and everyone knewMum - that was just the way she was. A trip to the supermarket with her alwaysseemed to be a half day event.  As hergreat friend and colleague John Tierney would often say, ‘the only person thatcould beat John Hume in an election in Derry was Pat!’


We cannot find the words to expresswhat an amazing person she was.  Whilstwe are all sad today, we are all beyond grateful for the life of this incrediblewoman, our mother, our friend, our guide and our mentor.


As her spirit rises to meet again withDad, her sisters Ella and Sadie; her brothers Tommy and Patsy; and her manygood friends including Joan and Anna, who passed away recently, we pray thatthe spirit of warmth, kindness and wisdom she embodied continues to livethrough all of us.


Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam dhilis

May her sweet soul rest at the righthand of God

Statement by President Michael D. Higgins on the passing of Pat Hume

“There will be so manypeople who will hear of the passing of Pat Hume with great sadness.  Theirhearts will go out to her family and close associates.

Their sadness, however,may I believe be helped as they recall Pat’s extraordinary contribution to lifeon this island and beyond.

That life of Pat Hume wasone of total commitment to community, to the possibilities of peace, to themeasures of non-violence that were necessary to assert, vindicate and achievethe results of civil rights.

While her support of thework of her late husband and Nobel Prize recipient, John Hume, was an exercisein solidarity, a partnership in courage, endurance and fortitude, her personalcontribution was unique, immense and important in its own right.

Pat’s personalcontribution as teacher, a mother in conditions of conflict, politicaladviser, constituency secretary and consoler of the victims of oppression fromso many sources, was extraordinary in every sense.

The care, compassion andconsistent support she gave was exemplary and without a hint of exclusion.

It was an honour toaddress the John and Pat Hume foundation last June and to have the opportunityof recognising the contribution of John and herself to the Peace Process.

Pat’s work, like that ofJohn, will always have an indelible place in the minds of all Irish people, inparticular those courageous people, of all dispositions, who sought aprincipled peace as an alternative to violence in any form, who worked day andnight for a future that would be inclusive of the best of values.

Sabina and I and ourfamily, I know, will be but a few among the many who will wish to offer ourcondolences to her children, wider family, friends and the people of Derry andbeyond in whose hearts she will always hold a place.

Síocháin shíoraí dá hanamuasal lách croíúil”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin on the death of Pat Hume 

"I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the Hume family on the death oftheir beloved mother, Pat.

A devoted wife of Nobel Prize winner, the late John Hume, she washis partner in family life and in political life.Pat and John worked side byside for decades. She was his trusted adviser at key political moments and hisanchor in their beloved Derry.

I want to recognise the tremendous contribution Pat made in theirlife’s work for peace and stability on this island and her resilience andcourage on the path to peaceful change. Her love and care for John and theirfamily and her commitment to helping the community and people of Derry meansshe will be much missed.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam."


Fr Paul Farren Homily for Pat Hume

Pat Hume was “humble and beautiful person who always put others first.

Much has been said about John and Pat and their unityin peacemaking, and it’s all true. And if John brought the brilliant mind tothe peacemaking, then Pat brought the pure heart.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin

A devoted wife of Nobel Prize winner, the late JohnHume, she was his partner in family life and in political life. Pat and Johnworked side by side for decades. She was his trusted adviser at key politicalmoments and his anchor in their beloved Derry.

Fr Paul Farren beautifully captured Pat Hume, in his homily at the funeral of John Hume in August 2020:

“We pray especially for you Pat. There is an old comment that says behind every good man there is a good woman. In Pat's case this is one quarter of the truth. Pat stood behind John to defend him and support him. She stood beside him to love him and accompany him even in the most difficult times and when his health failed and his mind got weaker she walked in front of him to lead him. Pat encircled John with love, compassion and support and it was your presence that made his work possible. When the history of Ireland is written if Pat Hume's name is not beside John's it will be an incomplete history.”

Hilary Clinton

Pat Hume was a gracious, determined force behind the achievement of peace inIreland. She and her husband John both made the world a better place and set anexample for us all. Sending my condolences to her family.

President Clinton

Pat Hume played anenourmous role in achieving peace in Northern Ireland. All of us who wereblessed by the way she lived her life & advanced her cause with such grace,courage & good humor will be forever grateful. My condolences to her familyand the people of Northern Ireland.

Mike Nesbitt MLA

"Everybody else was talking about a divided society and the negativity ofthat, John and Pat were talking in a very positive way about the benefits ofthe fact we have a very diverse society:

Colum Eastwood MP

“Without Pat Hume,there would have been no peace process in Ireland, that’s the simple truth. Thecompassion, integrity and immense fortitude that defined her incrediblecharacter breathed life into our peace over the course of a long campaign that,at times, must have looked like it would never bear fruit. She never gave upfaith.

“Pat was, of course,John’s guiding light. She was his constant companion, sharing the road andeasing the burden in the most difficult of times. When they came under publicpressure and attacks on their home for doing what they knew was right, sheremained his rock. The scale of his achievement was made possible by the depthof her love. But she was, in her own right, a fierce champion for peace andjustice.

“Pat holds a specialplace in the hearts of the people of this city. She would have done anythingfor them and in return, they loved her. Our city is in mourning tonight for awoman who showed us unconditional compassion and support every day of her life.We all live in an Ireland that she nurtured, at peace with itself and free toset its own destiny. It is an incredible legacy that will never be forgotten. 

“Mythoughts are with Pat’s children Aine, Therese, Aidan, John and Mo, her belovedgrandchildren and their wide circle of friends at this incredible difficulttime.


Mark Durkan, former Deputy First Minister, on the awardto Pat Hume of the 2018 Irish Red Cross Lifetime Achievement Award, said:

“Pat Hume has been a perpetual tonic inthe gravest of times. No matter what predicament people were in, be it throughviolence or social deprivation, Pat had an instinct and always found a way tolift you. Pat Hume has a true humanitarian ethic. She has given a lifetime ofservice and example to us all just through the steadfast support she has shownto John during many difficult years but she has been a source of heart and hopewhen the hurt was its worst.”

Fr Paul Farren beautifully captured Pat Hume, inhis homily at the funeral of John Hume;

“We pray especially for you Pat. There is an old comment that says behindevery good man there is a good woman. In Pat's case this is one quarter of thetruth. Pat stood behind John to defend him and support him. She stood besidehim to love him and accompany him even in the most difficult times and when hishealth failed and his mind got weaker she walked in front of him to lead him.Pat encircled John with love, compassion and support and it was your presencethat made his work possible. When the history of Ireland is written if PatHume's name is not beside John's it will be an incomplete history.”

PatHume – A Constant Source of Hope, Inspiration and Support

Sean Farren, Chair ofthe John & Pat Hume, Irish News 4 September 2021

The light has faded on one of Ireland’s most dedicated andcharming political figures. Pat Hume was a constantsource of hope, inspiration and support to John Hume throughout the darkyears of the Troubles. She shared his values, hisideas and his courageous approach to peace and to ending conflict.

She didn’t make daily headlines nor was she was around the negotiatingtable, but she was his main confidant, adviser and was his support in verydifficult days. As wife, mother, teacher and sole bread-winner, when John hadno employment from 1976 to 1979 , after the Northern Ireland Convention hadcollapsed, many of the day-to-day burdens of raising a family of five fell toher.  Then when John was elected to the European Parliament and later toWestminster, Pat managed his constituency office.

That office was no ordinary constituency office. As theTroubles lengthened in addition to the ordinary business of a publicrepresentative, it became the place in Derry to which mothers, fathers, sistersand brothers of those arrested frequently had resort seeking help in contactingtheir arrested relatives. Ever generous with her time,  Pat Hume wouldreceive them with sympathy, understanding  and support notwithstanding thefact that her own home was often a target of paramilitary forces critical ofJohn’s outspoken condemnation of their violence.

Despite the pressure life in such circumstances created,there was another Pat, a Pat that my wife, also Pat, and I were privileged toget to know and with whom as families an enduring friendship was formed. Thatfriendship led us to share several holidays with the Humes and others, holidaysmarked by leisurely walks, games with the children and relaxed eveningsaround a barbecue fire when John, prompted by Pat, would burst into song -though he probably didn’t need much prompting. It was a chance to escape thatpressure, at least for a while.

Pat was probably the person to rejoice most when the GoodFriday Agreement was endorsed. She had been close to all the quiet comings andgoings that laid the basis for the ceasefires of 1994 and the negotiations thathad led to that agreement. She was then free to devote more time to what becameher great pre-occupation – promoting reconciliation. When those of us who begandiscussing the idea of a Hume Foundation, Pat was quick to stress that shewanted reconciliation to be the Foundation’s number one priority. And that iswhat it is.  Hopefully promoting reconciliation throughout Ireland andbeyond will prove a fitting memorial to a wonderfully loving and generousperson – the Pride of Derry and a genuine patriot.