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Seamus Mallon remembered as 'a peacemaker and a statesman'

Dignitaries and politicians packed into a Co Armagh church this afternoon to say their final fare...
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Newsroom

18.50 27 Jan 2020


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Seamus Mallon remembered as 'a...

Seamus Mallon remembered as 'a peacemaker and a statesman'

Newsroom
Newsroom

18.50 27 Jan 2020


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Dignitaries and politicians packed into a Co Armagh church this afternoon to say their final farewells to Seamus Mallon.

The former Northern Ireland deputy first minister was laid to rest this afternoon after his funeral mass in Mullaghbrack.

Mr Mallon, a former SDLP deputy leader, died on Friday at the age of 83.

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He was remembered for his role in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 during a service attended by the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste.

He served alongside first minister David Trimble in the Stormont executive from 1998 to 2001.

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has hailed Mr Mallon for the "central role" he played in the peace process.

In his eulogy, Archbishop Eamon Martin noted his major role in the Good Friday Agreement and his consistent opposition to violence.

He said: "Seamus spoke with the authority and vision that come from having lived through the worst of our Troubles and yet personally played a central role in the landmark events of our peace process."

Archbishop Martin described him as a true peacemaker.

He said: "Here was a loving father, husband and brother and grandfather.

"Here was a dedicated Catholic school teacher and principal.

"Here was a  wholesome human being who spent himself unselfishly for his family, his local community and for the common good.

"Here was a peacemaker, a bridge-builder, a leader and a statesman.

Archbishop Martin said Mr Mallon leaves a great legacy and urged Stormont's leaders to create lasting stability in Northern Ireland as a tribute to him.

He said: "To his dying day, he was consistent in his dedication to a culture of life and peace so a fitting tribute to the legacy of this great man would be a renewed commitment and a renewed effort by all of our political leaders, and indeed by us, to build that shared home place that was Seamus' vision."

Main image: Crowds look on as the coffin bearing the body of Seamus Mallon is carried from St James' Church, Mullaghbrack after the funeral mass today. Photo: Eamonn Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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