Pat Hume Derry Obituary: Death of Wife of late Nobel Laureate and former SDLP leader John Hume

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Pat Hume Derry Obituary – Death:

Wife of late Nobel Laureate and former SDLP leader John Hume has died on Thursday in Londonderry following a short illness.

The Hume family’s statement read:                                                                            “We are heartbroken to announce the death of Pat Hume at home in Derry earlier this afternoon after a short illness. Pat died as she lived – surrounded by family, peacefully and generous to the end.

“Pat spent some days in the hospital in the days preceding her death and she saw first-hand the outstanding work that healthcare workers do, and the pressures that they are facing due to covid. She would prioritise public health at all times. We would like to express our thanks to the doctors and nurses of Glendermott Medical Centre, Dr Aaron Peace, the cardiology, palliative care teams and the staff of the Ambulatory Care Unit at Altnagelvin hospital, the Ambulance Service, the Foyle Hospice and all those who gave Pat such outstanding care.”

Pat is survived by her children Aine, Therese, Aiden, John and Mo, her beloved grandchildren and their wide circle of friends.

Funeral arrangements

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course which will adhere to Covid guidance. The wake will be restricted to family only.


The current SDLP leader, Colum Eastwood has led tributes. He said that Pat’s compassion, fortitude and strength of character was a driving force behind the peace process and paid tribute to the leadership she has shown in Derry throughout her life.

Colum Eastwood said: “Without Pat Hume, there would have been no peace process in Ireland, that’s the simple truth. The compassion, integrity and immense fortitude that defined her incredible character breathed life into our peace over the course of a long campaign that, at times, must have looked like it would never bear fruit. Pat never gave up faith. Pat was, of course, John’s guiding light. She was his constant companion, sharing the road and easing the burden in the most difficult of times. When they came under public pressure and attacks on their home for doing what they knew was right, she remained his rock. The scale of his achievement was made possible by the depth of her love. But she was, in her own right, a fierce champion for peace and justice.

Pat holds a special place in the hearts of the people of this city. She would have done anything for them and in return, they loved her. Our city is in mourning tonight for a woman 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 to set its own destiny. It is an incredible legacy that will never be forgotten”

Business leader Stephen Kelly, CEO of Manufacturing NI, posted on Facebook as news of Pat Hume’s death was confirmed: “Terribly sad news. What an amazing woman.

SDLP councillor Mary Durkan posted:                                                                          “So sad to learn of the passing of Pat Hume. So blessed to have known Pat as a friend and mentor, having been inspired and encouraged by her from a young age. Always treating everyone with care and compassion. So generous and truly selfless. One very special lady and a proud Derry Girl. Heartfelt grá with the many people who loved Pat, especially her beloved children Áine, John Jr, Aidan, Thérèse and Mo and the wider family.”

Marie Lindsay, former head of St Mary’s College tweeted after learning of Pat Hume’s death, saying: “Deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Pat Hume. She was an incredible role model for all of us. So very lucky to have known her and called her my friend. Blessed are the Peacemakers. Suaimhneas síoraí dá h-anam.”

SDLP MLA Sinead McLaughlin posted:                                                                  “Heartbreaking news at the sad passing of Pat Hume. There was nobody quite like her. She was a rock to her family and also a rock for many people in Derry. I will miss her but I will never forget her. One of a kind.”

At the funeral of her husband last year, Fr Paul Farren told friends and family that not only John Hume has secured his place in the history of this island, but also his wife Pat. He said  “When the history of Ireland is written, if Pat Hume’s name is not beside John’s, it will be an incomplete history,”.

Red cross honoured pat for her  decades of public service in 2018. She was given Lifetime Achievement honour at the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards.