Great Britain

Archbishop Eamon Martin says Ireland has lost one of its 'most respected sons and bravest leaders' in Seamus Mallon

Seamus Mallon with John Hume at the time of the Good Friday Agreement.
Seamus Mallon with John Hume at the time of the Good Friday Agreement.

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, has said the people of Armagh and Ireland have lost one of their 'most respected sons and bravest leaders' in Seamus Mallon, who has passed away.

The Archbishop of Armagh said: "A person of global stature, Seamus was a county Armagh man through and through, and he gave his gifts unselfishly and tirelessly to serve the betterment of the whole community on this island, north and south.

"People sometimes speak of the 'noble vocation of politics'. Seamus was a shining example of someone who gave his life to that vocation and in the service of others.

"He will be remembered as a man of integrity and great courage who was not afraid to speak up or call it as it was – even at great personal risk. A man of strong faith, Seamus was calm, fair and principled, and always respectful of the rights of others."

The Derry-born Primate of All Ireland said the late SDLP veteran had maintained hope for a better tomorrow all his life.

"To his dying day Seamus Mallon remained a man of hope for a brighter future - a shared and respectful future where we all experience a sense of belonging. A fitting tribute to his legacy would be a renewed effort by all our political leaders and by all of us to build that 'shared home place' which was Seamus’ vision and lifelong project.

"I express my sympathies on behalf of all in the Archdiocese of Armagh, to Seamus’s daughter Orla, to his extended family and colleagues. May he rest in peace," he said.