John Hume was a long-standing leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), the main political grouping of Northern Ireland Catholics. In the late 1960s Mr Hume was a key figure of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland.
In 1969 he was elected as an Independent to the Parliament of Northern Ireland. He sat in the Northern Ireland Assembly and later served as Minister of Commerce in the regional government. In 1983 John Hume was elected to the House of Commons. He was a Member of the European Parliament for five consecutive terms (1979-2004).
Hume led the SDLP during such important political events as the New Ireland Forum Talks 1983, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation 1994 and All Party Talks which resulted in the Good Friday Agreement.
In 2012, he received the Order of Saint Gregory the Great from Pope Benedict XVI.
David Trimble led the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the key Northern Ireland’s Protestant party supporting the maintenance of Ulster’s ties to London. In 1998 he became the First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly, or the head of the autonomous government of the province created under the Good Friday agreement.
A member of the UUP delegation in all-party talks in the early 1990s, Mr Hume was elected the Party’s Leader in 1995. Two years later he became the first Unionist leader to agree to negotiate with the Irish Republican party Sinn Fein.
David Trimble served in the House of Commons from 1990 to 2005. In 2006 he was awarded a Life Peerage in the House of Lords.