Cross-Border John Hume memorial university proposed

A cross-Border university in memory of the late SDLP leader and Nobel Laureate John Hume has been proposed.

The 83-year-old, celebrated across the world as a peace maker, died last week following a long battle with illness.

Fine Gael TD Colm Burke has suggested the creation of a John Hume memorial university with campuses on both sides of the Irish Border in Derry and Donegal.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Bogside mural in Derry City of John Hume, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela (Liam McBurney/PA)</figcaption>
Bogside mural in Derry City of John Hume, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela (Liam McBurney/PA)

“The establishment of a university in memory of John Hume would be a fitting tribute to him given his dedication to creating a brighter future of the young people of this island,” he said.

“There is also great potential for a cross-Border university incorporating the existing colleges of higher education in the region into the structures of the university.

“These could include the Magee campus of the Ulster University, the Institutes of Technology in Letterkenny & Sligo, and the North West Regional College in Northern Ireland. The educational, social and economic benefits of a full university in the North West of Ireland are compelling.”

Mr Burke said such a university could attract significant funding from across the world, as Mr Hume was held in high esteem in both the United States and the European Union.

“An Institute of Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies could be a major element in the new university, which over time could make a major contribution to solving complex political conflicts around the world,” he said.

During his life Mr Hume had campaigned for a university in Derry.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>The late John Hume and wife Pat (Niall Carson/PA)</figcaption>
The late John Hume and wife Pat (Niall Carson/PA)

The city is currently home to the Magee campus of the Ulster University.

Mr Burke added: “It would be a fitting memorial to John Hume’s life and his contribution to this island if the Irish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the British Government agreed to the establishment of a full university in Derry, serving the North and North West of Ireland.

“A university based in Derry named after John Hume would a fitting memorial to a man who made an historic contribution to peace and to Irish history.”