John Hume was the pivotal figure of the twentieth century in the development of thinking about Ireland’s future.
He reframed the problem from being one about who held sovereignty over land, to being one about people, and how they related to one another.
Thus reframed, the issue became one to which violence and coercion became completely irrelevant. This was the intellectual basis of the peace process.
The issue was no longer one about winning or losing, but about sharing or choosing not to share.
In practical terms, he won the argument. That is why we have peace today.