From UK Tortoise News Feed:
The most under-noted news of last week was the death of Seamus Mallon the 83 year-old former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and deputy leader of the SDLP – the moderate nationalist party. He was part of the coalition of leaders of the SDLP who forged the Good Friday Agreement – an achievement of that party more than anyone else.
Mallon will always be in the shadow of John Hume, the Nobel-winning party leader and all-round visionary. But Mallon had a critical role. He was Hume’s John the Baptist, as one joke had it. Mallon kept the party together during the long march, while Hume got the photocalls. He put the hours in at Westminster, and in the province. He lived in danger, an excoriating opponent of violence. Few will mourn at more funerals than Mallon did.
Mallon’s memoir A Shared Home Place released last year, repays reading; politicians can be serious. They can be of a place, and for it. They can read and think. Modernity is not the enemy of seriousness. The plaudits to Mallon from all parts of Northern Irish society are evidence of his success.
A life well lived. RIP Seamus Mallon