John Hume


As you are aware, the quarrel on our island has gone on for several centuries. Looking at the example of the conflict in Ireland, there are two mentalities in our quarrel - the Nationalist and the Unionist. The real political challenge to the Unionist mindset occurred when Nationalist Ireland essentially said: "Look, your objective is an honorable objective, the protection and preservation of your identity." Geography, history, and the size of the Unionist tradition guarantee that the problem cannot be solved without them, nor against them. If we can leave aside our quarrel while we work together in our common interest, spilling our sweat and not our blood, we will break down the barriers of centuries, too, and the new Ireland will evolve based on agreement and respect for difference, just as the rest of the European Union has managed to achieve over the years--the healing process. That is the philosophy that I hope, at last, is going to emerge in your neighboring island of Ireland. I look forward to our island being the bridge between the United States of America and the United States of Europe.