In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America
Premieres Tuesday, March 16 at 11 p.m.
Re-airs Thursday, March 18 at 4 a.m.
In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America is a compelling story of Nobel Laureate John Hume’s successful pursuit of peace in Northern Ireland through his co-operation with senior politicians in the United States.
In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America recounts how John Hume harnessed the power and influence of the Irish American diaspora as part of a strategy to bring about a cessation of violence.
Written, directed and produced by Maurice Fitzpatrick, the 90-minute film includes dramatic footage from the conflict in Northern Ireland (1968-1998), as well as interviews with Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, U.S. Congressmen and Senators, Sir Tony Blair and Sir John Major, with personal accounts from Bono, Bertie Ahern and Enda Kenny, depicting Hume’s role as one of the architects of the historic peace protest. Actor Liam Neeson serves as narrator, and Bill Whelan wrote the original musical score.
“Hume’s political strategy very considerably fashioned the Ireland that exists today,” said Fitzpatrick. “He matched his vision with a capacity to educate senior political figures in wider spheres to engage in Northern Ireland. Hume managed, as no Irish leader had before, to unleash the only political power in the world that could move the UK Government on the Irish Question: the United States. US pressure shattered the UK’s position that Northern Ireland was an internal matter and irrevocably recognized it as a joint Irish-UK concern. I made this film to convey the importance of this shift in brokering peace and new political structures in Ireland. “
Likened to Martin Luther King, and revered both at home and abroad as a social justice champion, Hume’s intellect and civil rights convictions put him at the forefront of politics and peace throughout the violent years of the Northern Ireland Troubles.
The signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and its ratification in referenda is both sides of the Irish border, brought an end to years of bloody violence in Hume’s homeland, and earned him, along with David Trimble, a Nobel Peace Prize.
The film was produced with the cooperation and participation of the Hume Family, particularly with regards to perspectives on John Hume’s strategy in the U.S. It was funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and RTE.