John Hume, who worked to end N. Ireland violence, dies at 83

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FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2002 file picture, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former leader of the Social Democratic Labour Party John Hume is shown at the Guild Hall, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The family of politician John Hume, who won Nobel Peace Prize for work to end violence in Northern Ireland, says he has died. He was 83. The Catholic leader of the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party , Hume was regarded by many as the principal architect behind the peace agreement. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

LONDON (AP) — Politician John Hume, who won Nobel Peace Prize for work to end violence in his native Northern Ireland, has died, his family said. He was 83.

The former lawmaker had dementia and had suffered ill health for a number of years.

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The Catholic leader of the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party, Hume was seen as the principal architect behind the peace agreement. He shared the prize with the leader of the Protestant Ulster Unionist Party, David Trimble, for their efforts to end the sectarian violence that plagued the region for three decades.

A civil rights leader who joined the Northern Irish civil rights movement in the 1960s, Hume saw nationalism as a declining force. He sought the notion of extending self-government to Northern Ireland with power divided among the groups forming it.

“Ireland is not a romantic dream; it is not a flag; it is 4.5 million people divided into two powerful traditions,” he said. “The solution will be found not on the basis of victory for either, but on the basis of agreement and a partnership between both. The real division of Ireland is not a line drawn on the map, but in the minds and hearts of its people.”

While both Hume and Trimble credited the people of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, it was Hume’s diplomacy that offered the impetus to the peace process.

Hume won a breakthrough in Belfast’s political landscape in 1993 by courting Gerry Adams, the head of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, in hopes of securing an IRA cease-fire.

Hume had envisioned a broad agenda for the discussions, arguing they must be driven by close cooperation between the British and Irish governments. The process was overseen by neutral figures like U.S. mediator George Mitchell, with the decisions overwhelmingly ratified by public referendums in both parts of Ireland.

″Without John Hume there would not have been a peace process,″ Mitchell said at the time the prize was announced. ″Without David Trimble there would not have been a peace agreement.″

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!