LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Northern Irish Nobel Laureate John Hume is being remembered by Kentuckians following his death Sunday at the age of 83.
He was one of the driving forces behind the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, which brought decades of deadly sectarian violence across Ireland to an end. Later that year, Hume and David Trimble, of the Ulster Unionist Party, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Derek Combs, who lives in Lexington, met Hume in Northern Ireland while serving on the American Council of Young Political Leaders. The two remained friends. He says despite Hume’s fame and notoriety, Hume remained down to earth.
“That’s the only way I knew him away from the camera, just down to earth, just like you and me. The only thing he wanted to do was, in my opinion talking to him and dealing with him, was to make his slice of the world better,” Combs said.
Hume helped change the course of history in Ireland by bringing unionists and Irish republicans into a power-sharing government, ending the violent conflict in Northern Ireland.
His family says he died in a nursing home in Londonderry after “a brief illness.”