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Bill Clinton to honour John Hume during book launch visit

Former US President Bill Clinton (left) with John Hume former leader of the SDLP and his wife Pat at the Beech Hill Hotel in Londonderry in 2010.

Former US President Bill Clinton (left) with John Hume former leader of the SDLP and his wife Pat at the Beech Hill Hotel in Londonderry in 2010.

Former US president Bill Clinton will honour the contribution to peace of the SDLP’s erstwhile leader John Hume on a visit to Londonderry next week.

On his fifth visit to Londonderry, Mr Clinton will also address crowds in the city’s Guildhall Square and help a launch a new book on peacemaking.

It has already been announced that the 67-year-old American statesman will visit Belfast to open a new department at Queen’s University named in his honour.

Details of his trip to Northern Ireland’s second biggest city have now been made public.

On the visit he will strengthen his relationship with the University of Ulster.

Mr Clinton, a long-standing advocate of the peace process in Northern Ireland, will help launch ‘Peacemaking In The Twenty-First Century’ - a new book collating a series of lectures, one delivered by himself, at the university’s Magee campus.

Former first lady and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan have also taken part in the Tip O’Neill Lecture Series.

SDLP Foyle Assembly Member Pat Ramsey said it was a “worldwide mark of respect” that Mr Clinton was set to pay special tribute to Mr Hume.

“I had the great honour of conferring the ‘Freedom of the City’ on John Hume in 2000 when I was mayor of Derry,” he said.

“John is the only person to receive this honour in 50 years so it is more than fitting that John and (his wife) Pat are having this further honour conferred on them by President Clinton, in the town that John loves so well.”

Mr Clinton was heavily involved in the peace process, especially in the run-up to the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He first visited Belfast in December 1995.

University of Ulster vice-chancellor Professor Richard Barnett said: “The University of Ulster is delighted to strengthen its links with President Clinton and to welcome him back to the city.

“President Clinton is an honorary graduate of Ulster, and has a long history of engagement with the university, particularly with our Magee campus.”

Derry city mayor Martin Reilly said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome President Clinton back to the city at this time, to see for himself the significant advances that have been made here in recent years.”

 

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