The news of John Hume’s passing on is an incredibly sad day – when one of the giants of Northern Ireland politics has left us.

John Hume started his Community engagement through the Credit Union Movement, a great Co-operative enterprise. He based his politics on a number of key principles, total opposition to political violence, the need for full civil rights in voting, housing, economic and social rights, & the need for the various political allegiances in Northern Ireland to be fully respected. All of these are shared by the NI Co-operative Party.

Now that Northern Ireland is in relative peace, it would be easy to take peace for granted but to those who lived through the horrific violence and bitter sectarianism, we recognise that there needed to be a Civil Rights Movement and latterly a Peace Strategy.

Those were led by John Hume & others sometimes in the most difficult of circumstances. He showed enormous bravery and determination to make things better for others. Northern Ireland owes him a great deal.

We extend our very sincere condolences to John Hume’s wife Pat, his wider family circle, the SDLP family, and the people of his beloved Derry.