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Text and Research: Brendan Lynn ... Edited and Compiled: Martin Melaugh
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Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

| Hanna | Haughey, C. | Haughey, D. | Hay | Heath | Hendron | Hermon, J. | Hermon, S. | Hillery | House | Howe | Hume | Hurd |

Hanna, Carmel (b. 26 April 1946)
Politician; Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MLA; Executive Minister December 2001 - October 2002

Born in Warrenpoint, County Down and educated at Our Lady's Grammar School, Newry, County Down, Carmel Hanna, pursued a career as a nurse, certified midwife, and later as a National Health Service worker assessing care for the elderly. Although Hanna joined the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1972 and served on its General Council, it was not until 1997 that she was first elected as a public representative when winning a seat on Belfast City Council (1997-present). A year later in June 1998 she was returned as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998 for the constituency of South Belfast (1998-present)and later served on the Assembly's environmental committee as vice-chair and on the health committee. In December 2001 Hanna was appointed as Minister for Employment and Learning by the new SDLP party leader Mark Durkan and held the post until the suspension of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in October 2002.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.sdlp.ie/party/carmelhanna.shtm
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 November 2002]


Haughey, Charles (b. 16 September 1925)
Politician; Fianna Fáil (FF) TD; Taoiseach (Prime Minister Republic of Ireland) December 1979 - June 1981, March - December 1982, and March 1987 - February 1992

Charles Haughey was born in Castlebar, County Mayo, but educated at St Joseph's Christian Brothers' School, Dublin, and University College Dublin, from where he graduated with a Commerce degree, before going onto work as an accountant. Both his parents were originally from Swatragh, County Derry, but his father, Sean, was to be involved in the War of Independence 1919-21 and then went on to serve in the Irish Army. But ill-health later however forced him to retire and to live with his family on his army pension in north Dublin. Charles first became involved in politics in 1948 when he became a member of Fianna Fáil (FF) and after several unsuccessful attempts to enter the Dáil, he was finally elected in 1957 as a FF TD for Dublin North-East (1957-92). In 1961 he was appointed to the cabinet for the first time by the then Taoiseach and also his father-in-law, Sean Lemass, as Minister of Justice (1961-64).

Haughey was soon to gain the reputation as a competent figure pushing through legal reforms as well as taking steps to deal with the ongoing 'border campaign' of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). This was a view that was to be maintained during an uneasy spell as Minister of Agriculture (1964-66) and thus led to speculation that he was about to succeed Lemass as Leader of FF in 1966. But he was later to withdraw from the contest and gave his backing to the eventual winner, Jack Lynch, who appointed him Minister of Finance (1966-70). It was in this position that his first direct involvement in the affairs of Northern Ireland came about when in 1970 he found himself at the centre of serious political allegations. This led to him being removed from the cabinet and, along with a number of other people, charged with conspiring to import arms and ammunition illegally. It was claimed that these were then to be sent to Northern nationalists, who had been calling for assistance from the Dublin government, in order to defend themselves from what they regarded was a sustained attack on their community from loyalist militants and the security forces. After a trial Haughey and his co-accused were acquitted of all charges and for the next number of years he slowly rebuilt a political base in FF. The success of this enterprise came in 1977 when Lynch appointed him Minister of Health (1977-79) and then in 1979 he emerged to become new Leader of FF (1979=92) and to assume the position of Taoiseach (1979-81).

Over the next decade or so he took a keen interest in matters relating to Northern Ireland and was always anxious to stress his and FF's preference for a solution based on the principal of ending partition and to secure reunification, by peaceful means. Not surprisingly this attitude and his past involvement gained him few friends amongst the unionist community in Northern Ireland. But he sought to counteract their deep seated hostility to him by seeking to make political progress by means of improving relations with the British government and then using this as a basis to come to some kind of overall settlement. This culminated in December 1980 when it was announced that London and Dublin would move to set up a mechanism to allow for a number of joint studies to be carried out in order to try to achieve agreed positions on a number of areas. Amongst the topics to be included were matters such as security, economic cooperation, and new governmental structures for Northern Ireland. Although serious disagreements were soon to emerge on many issues and which only soured this effort to secure a better relationship between the two governments, in many ways foundations were to be laid in this period that were to be built upon in the years ahead.

Having served as Taoiseach from 1979 to 1981 and for a nine months in 1982, Haughey was then to be in opposition for five years as Garret Fitzgerald led a Fine Gael (FG) - Labour coalition government. During this period one of the areas which brought out the sharp differences between the two party leaders came over Northern Ireland. For Haughey the publication of the report of the New Ireland Forum (NIF) in 1984 was the opportunity to re-state his preference for a unitary state and in doing so he argued the other recommended options, federation or joint authority, were unworkable. These views were repeated following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in 1985 and he attacked in particular those aspects of the AIA which guaranteed Northern Ireland's constitutional position. Although initially hostile to it, once he had returned to office in March 1987 he rejected earlier suggestions that he would seek to renegotiate the AIA. Instead he sought to maximise its potential in order to look after not only the interests of northern nationalists but to push forward the objective of reunification. This led to accusations that his government were unwilling to see the suspension of the AIA to allow for unionists to participate in inter-party talks on the future of Northern Ireland.
In February 1992 his term as Leader of FF and Taoiseach was ended when he was forced to resign after allegations of misconduct were laid against him and a few months later he announced his intention to retire from active politics by not standing as a candidate at the general election of November 1992. Since then controversy has continued to surround Haughey following revelations about his financial affairs and the means by which he had managed to sustain a lavish lifestyle through his long political career.

Book References:
Arnold, Bruce. (1994), Haughey: His Life and Unlucky Deeds. London: Harper Collins.
Collins, Stephen. (1992), The Haughey File: The Unprecedented Career and Last Years of the Boss. Dublin: The O'Brien Press.
Collins, Stephen. (2000), The Power Game: Fianna Fáil Since Lemass. Dublin: O'Brien.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
O'Brien, Justin. (2000), The Arms Trial. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Web Sources:
http://www.rte.ie/culture/millennia/people/haugheycj.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 November 2002]


Haughey, Denis (b. 3 October 1944)
Politician; Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MLA 1998-2003

Denis Haughey was born in Coalisland, County Tyrone and educated at St Patrick's College, Armagh, and Queen's University Belfast from where he later graduated with a BA Hons in Political Science and Modern History. Whilst a student at Queen's Haughey became involved in politics and participated in the civil rights movement, becoming the first chairman of the Tyrone Civil Rights Association. He then went on join the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) shortly after its formation in 1970 and from 1972 to 1977 he served the party as its chairman. In 1980 he resigned his teaching position to become full-time assistant (1980-98) to John Hume, then leader of the SDLP in addition to his role as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). This role was to lead to Haughey pursuing a wide a range of interests particularly in matters relating to Europe. For instance he has represented the SDLP on the Executive of the Party of European Socialists, on the Executive of the Socialist International, and as the party's International Secretary was to be involved in the process of formulating European policy for the deprived regions of the Community. Furthermore Haughey has also acted as one of Northern Ireland's two representatives on the European Union Committee of the Regions.

He contested elections as an SDLP candidate on five occasions for the Westminster Parliament: in Fermanagh and South Tyrone in February 1974 and in Mid Ulster in 1983, 1987, 1992, and 1997, but never succeeded in being elected . In October 1982 Haughey did succeed in being returned as a representative for Mid Ulster in the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86) but in line with SDLP policy never took his seat. Later from 1983 to 1984 he was a member of the New Ireland Forum in Dublin. In 1989 he was elected to Cookstown District Council (1989-present) and was one of the party's delegates to the inter-party talks organised by the British government between 1991 and 1992. Between 1996 and 1998 Haughey was a senior member of the SDLP's team at the multi-party negotiations which was to culminate with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. Soon after, in June 1998, he became a member of the new Northern Ireland Assembly representing the constituency of Mid Ulster (1998-2003). Following the establishment of the Northern Ireland Executive in December 1999 Haughey was made a Junior Minister in the Office of First and Deputy First Minister and held this position until the suspension of the institutions of GFA in October 2002. At the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in November 2003 he lost his seat.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Murray, Gerard. (1998), John Hume and the SDLP: Impact and Survival in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press.
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/566971.stm
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/
http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/text/dhaughey.htm
http://www.sdlp.ie/
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/dhaughey.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 November 2002; updated 9 June 2004]


Hay, William (b. 16 April 1950)
Politician; Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MLA

Born in Donegal and educated at Faughan Valley High School, Londonderry, Willie Hay went onto work as a haulage contractor. His first involvement in politics came when he joined the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and he has represented the party on Derry City Council since 1981 (1981-present). Hay has also served terms as Deputy Mayor (1992-93) and Lord Mayor (1993-94). In addition in recent years he has acted as a spokesman of the Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD) in connection with the issue of ABD marches in the city. In June 1998 he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA) for the constituency of Foyle. With the establishment of the new Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) in November 2001, Hay became one of three members of the DUP to take their seats on the Board (2001-present).

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory, 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/our%20people/hay.htm
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/whay.htm
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 21 March 2003]


Heath, Edward (b. 9 July 1916)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; British Prime Minister 1970-74

Edward Heath was educated at Chatham House School, Ramsgate, and at Balliol College, Oxford, from which he later graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. During the Second World War Heath served in the Royal Artillery reaching the rank of the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and was to see action in the campaign in north-west Europe. His service was recognised by means of a MBE (Military Division) as well as mention in numerous dispatches. In 1946 he joined the Civil Service but resigned in 1947 to become a journalist before subsequently moving into merchant banking. As for his political career this began in 1950 with his election to the House of Commons as Conservative MP for the constituency of Bexley (1950-74), and then for Bexley-Sidcup (1974-83), and for Old Bexley and Sidcup (1983-2001). When his party returned to power following the 1951 general election Heath was to hold a number of junior government positions (1955-63). Then in 1963 he was appointed to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade (1963-64). After the Conservative Party lost the 1964 general election he served for a time as opposition spokesman on Economic Affairs but in 1965 successfully stood for the party leadership (1965-75). In this position he was to lead the Conservatives back into power in 1970 and assumed the role of Prime Minister (1970-74).

His term in office was to be dominated by many pressing domestic and foreign issues. As well Heath's administration had to respond to the unfolding situation in Northern Ireland where recent events had forced the authorities at Westminster to become reluctantly involved in its day to day affairs. As conditions in Northern Ireland continued to deteriorate the search for a coherent response proved difficult and thus tended only to add to the growing sense of uncertainty and instability. For instance the package of reforms introduced to meet the immediate concerns of the civil rights movement continued to be implemented. At the same time however Heath's determination to take a firm line on security matters ran the risk of further alienating the minority community and this was particularly the case over events such as the introduction of 'Internment' (9 August 1971), as well as the aftermath of 'Bloody Sunday' (30 January 1972) and 'Operation Motorman' (31 July 1972).

As for the unionist community in Northern Ireland there was to be growing concern at the way in which his government's policy was to evolve. This centred on three main points. To begin with Heath suggested that the policy of the Conservative Party on the constitutional position was now more fluid. In particular he recognised that if a majority in Northern Ireland decided by democratic means to vote in favour of Irish reunification, then a future British government would have to recognise this new position. Secondly, against the advice of the authorities in Northern Ireland he decided in March 1972 to suspend the Stormont parliament and introduce direct rule from Westminster in a move that led to widespread anger and protests. Finally in December 1973 at the Sunningdale Conference, in negotiations with the Irish government and a number of the Northern Ireland political parties, Heath was at the forefront of the efforts to reach an agreement on the way forward. To the dismay of many unionists this was not to be based on a return to the status quo prior to March 1972. Instead it was to involve a power-sharing executive to administer the north of Ireland, working alongside a Council of Ireland, to formulate relations between Belfast and Dublin.

In the end however Heath did not survive in power long enough to see these proposals implemented in full as he was to lead the Conservative Party to defeat at the general elections of February and October 1974. As a consequence his leadership was challenged in 1975 and in a bitter contest he was to lose his position to Margaret Thatcher. His poor personal relationship with his successor was to ensure that he was never to return to ministerial office, although he was to remain a back bench MP until his retirement from parliament at the general election of June 2001.

Book References:
Blake, Robert. (1985), The Conservative Party from Peel to Thatcher. London: Fontana.
Campbell, John, (1993), Edward Heath: A Biography. London: Jonathan Cape.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Heath, Edward. (1998), The Course of My Life: The Autobiography of Edward Heath. London: Coronet.
Hennessey, Thomas. (1997), A History of Northern Ireland 1920-1996. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.britannia.com/gov/primes/prime53.html
http://www.cmmol.net/edward_heath.htm

http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/page128.asp
http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/POLIT/brit/heath.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 November 2002]


Hendron, ('Joe') Joseph Gerard (b. 1932)
Politician; Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MLA
[Entry to be included at a later date]


Hermon, John ('Jack') (Sir) (b. 1928)
Police Officer; Chief Constable of the RUC 1980-89

Jack Hermon was born in Larne, County Antrim, and educated locally. He joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in 1951. In 1963 Hermon received his first promotion when he was made a Head Constable and was the first officer from the RUC to attend the Bramshill police training college in England. On his return to duty in Northern Ireland in 1966 he became a District Inspector and this was followed in 1967 with an appointment as Deputy Commandant of the RUC training school in Enniskillen. This was then followed with a series of further promotions. For instance in 1970 Hermon was promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent; became Assistant Chief Constable in 1974; in 1976 he was made Deputy Chief Constable in charge of overall operations; and then in 1979 accepted a placement with Scotland Yard in London. This level of experience was to see him in January 1980 replace Sir Kenneth Newman as the new Chief Constable of the RUC (1980-89).

His term in office was at times difficult and often controversial. Initially he faced an upsurge in violence following the republican hunger strike of the early 1980s. Then in late 1982 there were accusations that the RUC was conducting a 'shot-to-kill' policy after a number of republican paramilitaries were shot dead in disputed circumstances. These were claims that Hermon was always to deny but he failed to convince either nationalist opinion in Northern Ireland or the Irish government. As for unionists his approach to dealing with their protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985) often caused great resentment. Although his staunch defence of the RUC often won him the respect of his officers at other times, his abrasive nature brought him into conflict with them on internal management matters. These problems also led on occasions to a degree of friction with the Police Authority. At the same time under the auspices of the AIA he sought to improve levels of cooperation with the Garda Síochána concerning cross-border security. His service to policing was recognised by way of an OBE in 1975 and a knighthood in 1982. In May 1980 he formally retired as Chief Constable.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hermon, John. (1997), Holding the Line: An Autobiography. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill&Macmillan.
Ryder, Chris. (2000), The RUC 1922-2000: A Force Under Fire. London: Arrow.
Web Sources:
http://www.psni.police.uk/museum/index.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 November 2002]


Hermon, Sylvia (Lady) (b. 11 August 1955)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP 2001-present

Sylvia Hermon was educated at Dungannon High School for Girls, and Aberstwyth University, Wales, from where she graduated in 1977 with a first class honours degree in Law. After completing her Part II Solicitors' Qualifying Examinations in 1978 she took up a lecturing post at Queen's University Belfast in European, International and Constitutional law (1978-88). In 1988 she became Lady Sylvia Hermon after marrying the former Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), Sir John Hermon. Her involvement in politics came when she joined the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) as a member of its Ballyholme and Groomsport branch and she later served as a delegate to the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) as well as Chairperson of the North Down Constituency Ulster Unionist Association (2001-present).

In the wake of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) Hermon was involved in drawing up the UUP's suggestions for the reform of policing in Northern Ireland. She was co-author of the UUP response to the report of the Patten Commission (1999) and was author of the UUP's 'Response to the Implementation Plan on Police Reform' (2000). In May 2001 just before the Westminster general election Hermon was selected to contest the constituency of North Down for the UUP when the original candidate was deselected as a result of his opposition to party policy. Her subsequent election in June 2001 was significant in a number of ways. To begin with she became the first woman to be returned for a Northern Ireland seat at Westminster since the election of Bernadette Devlin in 1969. In addition Hermon was regarded as a close ally of David Trimble,then leader of the UUP, and a supporter of his policy towards the GFA against internal party critics. As well she has served as the UUP's spokesperson on Home Affairs; Youth and Women's Issues; and, Culture, Media and Sport.

Web Sources:
http://www.uup.org/
http://www.qub.ac.uk/cawp/UK%20bios/UK_bios_00s.htm#hermon
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=201
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2070137.stm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 November 2002]


Hillery, Patrick John (b. 2 May 1923)
Politician; Fianna Fáil (FF) TD; Irish Foreign Minister 1969-73; President of Republic of Ireland 1976-83 and 1983-90

A native of County Clare Paddy Hillery pursued a career as a medical doctor before being elected in 1951 as a Fianna Fáil (FF) TD for the constituency of Clare (1951-73). Within a short period of time Hillery had established himself within the FF parliamentary party and in 1959 became a member of the Cabinet as Minister for Education (1959-65). He then later went onto serve as Minister for Industry and Commerce (1965-66), Minister for Labour (1966-69) and Minister for Foreign Affairs (1969-73). With the outbreak of widespread civil unrest in Northern Ireland at the end of the 1960s Hillery found himself firmly at the centre of events. During this period he emerged as an important ally of Jack Lynch, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), in formulating the response of the Irish government to the evolving crisis. In addition he negotiated the entry of the Republic of Ireland into the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973 and was then appointed EEC Commissioner for Social Affairs (1973-76). In 1976 he was returned unopposed as President of the Republic of Ireland and went onto serve two full terms in this position before standing down (1976-90).

Book References:
Collins, Stephen. (2000), The Power Game: Fianna Fáil Since Lemass. Dublin: O'Brien.
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Web Sources:
http://www.rte.ie/culture/millennia/people/hillerypatrick.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]


House, David (Lieutenant-General) (Sir) (b. 8 August 1922)
British Army Soldier; General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland 1975-77

David House's appointment as Army General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland in 1975 (1975-77) came when an Irish Republican Army (IRA) truce (February 1975 - January 1976) was coming to an end. As a result House was faced with an upsurge of violence from Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries which led the British government to introduce undercover units of the Special Air Service (SAS) in 1976.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 25 March 2003]


Howe, Geoffrey Richard Edward (Life Peerage 1992) (b. 20 December 1926)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; British Foreign Secretary 1983-89

Geoffrey Howe was educated at Winchester College, and Trinity College, Cambridge, before pursuing a legal career and being called to the English Bar in 1952. In 1964 Howe was elected as the new Conservative MP for Bebington (1964-66) and later also represented the constituencies of Reigate (1970-74) and Surrey East (1974-92). When his party returned to government following the 1979 general election he was appointed Chancellor of Exchequer (1979-83). In December 1980 Howe was a member of the British cabinet team that travelled to Dublin to hold talks with their Irish counterparts. At these talks both sides agreed that efforts would be made to improve Anglo-Irish relations and in an important development a commitment was given that the two countries would consider the "totality of relationships" between them. This meeting was therefore to form the start of a process that was to have important long-term consequences in matters relating to Northern Ireland.

In 1983 after becoming Foreign Secretary (1983-89) he was to be involved in the negotiations that were to produce the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in November 1985. Howe was largely supportive of the AIA and was prepared to ignore the concerns of some within his own party as well as Unionist opinion, who were opposed to its provisions allowing for the authorities in Dublin to be consulted on Northern Ireland affairs. However his relationship with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, was to deteriorate on a number of other issues. As a result in 1989, in a move widely seen as a demotion, he was made Leader of the House of Commons and Deputy Prime Minister (1989-90). Soon after he resigned from this post and left the cabinet in a move that was to herald a leadership challenge in the Conservative Party in 1990. Prior to the 1992 general election Howe announced his decision to step down as an MP and later in the year received a life peerage, taking his seat in the House of Lords.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Howe, Geoffrey. (1994), Conflict of Loyalty. London: Macmillan.
Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 26 March 2003]


Hume, John (Nobel Laureate) (b. 18 January 1937)
Politician; Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 1979-2001; SDLP MP 1983-present; SDLP MEP 1979-2004

Born in Derry and educated at St Columb's College, Derry, and St Patrick's College, Maynooth, John Hume graduated with a BA. honours degree before beginning work as a teacher. Before he became involved in active politics at the end of the 1960s, Hume's profile in his native city of Derry had been raised by his participation in a number of community initiatives. For instance he had involved himself in the local Credit Union movement and had been one of the most prominent figures in the unsuccessful campaign aimed at ensuring the city became the site of Northern Ireland's second university. Frustrated and increasingly disillusioned with the apparent unwillingness of the Unionist government at Stormont to adequately address the growing calls from the minority community in Northern Ireland for a thorough programme of economic, political and social reform, Hume chose to participate in the civil rights campaign. Following violence at a civil rights march in Derry on 5 October 1968 he was elected on to the Derry Citizens' Action Committee as Vice-Chairman and attempted to try to ensure that future protests remained peaceful. This role allowed him to challenge and win a parliamentary seat, representing the Foyle constituency in the city (1969-72) in the Stormont election of February 1969.

In association with a number of others Hume then worked to try to establish a new opposition grouping to provide a more strident and vibrant opposition to the Unionist authorities. As a result he was to be one of the co-founders of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in August 1970. In his position as one of the leading members of the SDLP he participated in the negotiations in the period after the suspension of Stormont in 1972 aimed at producing a new political settlement for Northern Ireland. These were to culminate with the Sunningdale Agreement (1973) by which the party agreed to join a power-sharing executive to administer Northern Ireland, with a Council of Ireland also being established to help formalise relations between the administrations in Belfast and Dublin. In the subsequent elections for a Northern Ireland Assembly, Hume was to be elected as a member (1973-74) and once the Executive was formed took up the position of Minister of Commerce (January to May 1974).

In this role he had to face the economic problems caused by the loyalist strike of May 1974 aimed at bringing down the agreement reached at Sunningdale. The events of this period were to leave a lasting impression on Hume and after the failure of the Constitutional Convention (1975-76) Hume became convinced that an entirely fresh approach was needed. This soon became based on the view that a simple internal solution for Northern Ireland would not work. Instead an alternative had to be found which looked to bring outside influences to bear in order for them to encourage the search for an end to the political stalemate. For Hume this meant involving politicians not only in the Republic of Ireland but in the United States of America and Europe. Such views soon brought him into conflict with senior members of the SDLP and these differences were really only solved when he became party Leader in November 1979 (1979-2001).

Once Hume took on the leadership of the SDLP he attempted to press ahead with his strategy of forging closer links with the political establishment in Dublin in addition to those on the international stage. In the pursuit of these aims Hume was to benefit from his growing profile as one of three Northern Ireland Members of the European Parliament (MEP; 1979-2004) and as a Westminster MP (1983-present). As a result under Hume the SDLP refused to take part in political initiatives within the north of Ireland which lacked this wider dimension and so refused to take part in either the Constitutional Conference in 1980 or the Northern Ireland Assembly of which he was to be a member (1982-86). Instead the SDLP chose to participate in the New Ireland Forum (NIF) (1983-84) in Dublin which sought to encourage constitutional nationalism to produce a new framework by which Irish unity could be achieved. Developments elsewhere however gave the first indication that his attempt to bring international pressure to bear on the situation was at last making some headway. In 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was signed and received a positive response, particularly in America and Europe. But progress towards stability remained painfully slow in Northern Ireland and there was little indication of an end to the paramilitary campaigns which in turn negated against any political breakthrough.

In order to try to overcome these hurdles in 1988 Hume commenced a series of negotiations with representatives of the Republican movement, most notably with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF). Although his decision was met by criticism from both outside and within the SDLP, Hume chose to persevere. In doing so he later justified his participation in these talks by stating that by the early 1990s they had laid the basis for developments in what soon became known as the 'Peace Process'. Elected to the Northern Ireland Forum in June 1996 he was then to lead his party in the multi-party discussions which finally commenced in September 1997. As such he was at the forefront of the efforts that were to produce the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998 and took part in campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the in the subsequent referendum held in May 1998.

His role was later recognised in 1998 when along with David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In June 1998 Hume was elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-2000) and again participated in the talks that then followed to allow for the full implementation of the GFA. When in November 1999 the Northern Ireland Executive was established he chose not to accept the position allotted to his party, namely that of Deputy First Minister, and this was taken as evidence of his desire to cut back on his political commitments. It therefore came as no surprise when he announced his decision to retire from the Assembly in August 2000. With increasing health problems, a year later in September 2001, he chose to resign as Leader of the SDLP. Finally in February 2004, Hume announced that he would be standing down both as an MP and MEP.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hennessey, Thomas. (2000), The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Ending the Troubles. London: Gill & Macmillan.
Murray, Gerard. (1998), John Hume and the SDLP: Impact and Survival in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Routledge, Paul. (1997), John Hume: A Biography. London: HarperCollins.
White, Barry. (1984), John Hume: Statesman of the Troubles. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
Gormley-Heenan, Cathy. (2005) John Hume: A Guide to Internet Resources. CAIN: <http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/biography/Hume_John_Guide.htm>
http://www.rte.ie/culture/millennia/people/humejohn.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/903511.stm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - November 2002; updated June 2004]


Hurd, Douglas Richard (Life Peerage 1997) (b. 8 March 1930)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland September 1984 - September 1985

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Douglas Hurd left his job in the British diplomatic service to pursue a political career when he became a party worker with the Conservative Party. Then at the general election of February 1974 Hurd was elected as the new Conservative MP for the constituency of Mid Oxon (1974-83) and later went onto represent Witney (1983-97). When his party returned to power in 1979 he served in a number of junior ministerial positions before being appointed to the Cabinet in September 1984 as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (September 1984 - September 1985). Although he was to hold this position for a relatively short period of time Hurd was still to have a significant impact on Northern Ireland affairs. In particular his spell as Northern Ireland Secretary was to coincide with an intensive round of negotiations between the authorities in London and Dublin which were to eventually produce in November 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). After leaving Northern Ireland he went on to serve as Home Secretary (1985-89) and then as Foreign Secretary (1989-95). Prior to the 1997 general election Hurd announced his intention to step down as an MP and later in 1997 received a life peerage and took his seat in the House of Lords.

Book References:
Arthur, Paul. (2000), Special Relationships : Britain, Ireland and the Northern Ireland Problem. Belfast: Blackstaff.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 30 March 2003]


Notes:
The information has been compiled from numerous primary and secondary sources.
The best general sources for additional information are:
  • Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory, 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
  • McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
  • Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    For related and background information see also:
  • The list of acronyms associated with 'the Troubles'
  • The glossary of terms related to the conflict
  • The abstracts on prominent organisations
  • The chronology of the conflict

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