HomeNewsLatest NewsFormer Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Seamus Mallon Dies At 83

Former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Seamus Mallon Dies At 83

"I spent many hours listening to him and learning from him. He had a brilliant turn of phrase and sharp wit which he would use to great effect. He could be difficult but never ill intentioned,"

The former Stormont deputy first minister and SDLP deputy leader, Seamus Mallon, dies at age 83, following an announcement by his party.

Mr Mallon was one of the brains behind the 1998 Good Friday agreement that installed peace to Northern Ireland after several years of sectarian conflict.

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The resident of Markethill, Co Armagh, has been hailed as a champion of justice and reconciliation – with Tony Blair calling him “one of the most important architects of peace in Northern Ireland”.

The SDLP’s leader Colum Eastwood said his predecessor was “was an Irish Patriot” and “a force of nature”.

He added: “In the darkest days of conflict, when hope was in short supply, Seamus represented the fierce thirst for justice that ran through the SDLP and through communities that had lost so much to political violence.

“His passion for peace underpinned by truth, justice and reconciliation came from a lifetime as a proud son of Markethill where he was born, grew up and raised his own family.

“It didn’t matter who you were, where you worshipped or what your politics were, there was always help to be found at Seamus’ hearth.“

Mr Mallon was deputy first minister of the first devolved Assembly at Stormont following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, leading the power-sharing coalition government along with the first minister Lord Trimble of the Ulster Unionists.

“I spent many hours listening to him and learning from him. He had a brilliant turn of phrase and sharp wit which he would use to great effect. He could be difficult but never ill intentioned,” Tony Blair said in a statement.

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Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair’s former spin doctor, added: “So sad that Seamus Mallon has died. He was one of the nice guys. And one of the great guys when it came to the peace process in Northern Ireland. He did not always get the biggest headlines because he didn’t shout the loudest. He had commitment and intelligence to match.

“He was motivated by the right things and went about them in the right way. He was a man of passionate views and beliefs always rooted in the desire to improve the lives of the place and the people he came from. But he was pragmatic not ideological in his pursuit of them.

“My last dealings with him were over a little film we made for the peoplesvote-uk campaign. We lost that one but it showed he fought to the end for what he believed. And his life and career as a whole were a huge success. His positive legacy in Ireland is immense. RIP.”

Alice Campbell for SurgeZirc UK
Alice Campbell for SurgeZirc UK
Alice Campbell is a highly skilled and experienced royal writer, currently working with SurgeZirc UK. With a passion for journalism and a keen interest in the royal family, Alice has established herself as a prominent figure in the field.
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