It was announced today that Pat Hume will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish Red Cross, in recognition of her decades of public service.

Pat worked alongside her husband John Hume from the beginning of civil rights movement in the1960s, continuing during the Troubles, right through to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Pat ran operations on the ground, manning John’s constituency office in Derry. She met many young people caught up in the Troubles and dealt with issues presented to her by thousands who were encountering housing problems, social security issues and health and education concerns.

Pat sacrificed her first career as a teacher to undertake this work and didn’t just run one political office; the Hume family home was a thoroughfare for journalists, political visitors and diplomats, and Pat ran proceedings here too, while also taking care of a young family.

John travelled for much of his political work and Pat was his eyes and ears on the ground, keeping him briefed on political matters. This was all against a backdrop where the Hume family was often under threat; the car was tampered with and the family home was firebombed and vandalised. These were threats Pat often dealt with alone while John was working away.

Given 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, it is very fitting that as the year draws to a close, the Irish Red Cross is recognising the role Pat Hume played in Derry and her wider contribution to the politics which ultimately provided the basis for the Good Friday Agreement.

Pat is now the primary carer for John, who has been suffering from dementia for almost 20 years.

Pat will accept the award at the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards Ball which takes place in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road Dublin on 24 November. The Humanitarian Awards Ball will honour humanitarian achievements while raising much needed funds for vulnerable children and families in Ireland and overseas.

While the Lifetime Achievement Award is a pre-determined category, entries for five other categories are open now. Tara Justin from the Irish Red Cross said; “we are calling those of you with relevant experience to apply, or nominate your peers, across five of our awards categories – the Journalism Excellence Award, Humanitarian of the Year Award, Innovation for Change Award, Corporate Impact Award and Student Humanitarian Award. The deadline for entries is Friday 5 October. We want to highlight the efforts of those who have given a voice to humanitarian issues. We are recognising Pat Hume with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her decades of support and commitment to the Derry public and her wider contribution to the peace process, but we also want to hear from you. If you have a humanitarian achievement you’re proud of, no matter how big or small, make sure to get your entries in by 5 October.”

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Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards