Former leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party John Hume has passed away following a short illness, his family have said.
The 83-year-old passed away in the early hours of this morning in the Owen Mor nursing home in Derry. In a statement his family thanked the nursing staff who had looked after Mr Hume during his illness.
It read: “We are deeply saddened to announce that John passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning after a short illness. “We would like to extend our deepest and heartfelt thanks to the care and nursing staff of Owen Mor nursing home in Derry. The care they have shown John in the last months of his life has been exceptional. As a family, we are unfailingly inspired by the professionalism, compassion, and love they have shown to John and all those under their care.
“We can never adequately show them our thanks for looking after John at a time when we could not. The family drew great comfort in being with John again in the last days of his life.”
One of the highest-profile politicians in Northern Ireland for more than 30 years, John Hume helped create the climate that brought an end to the Troubles.
He was a founding member of the SDLP in 1970 and led the party from 1979 until 2001.