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Live Reporting

By Chris Andrews, Niall Glynn and Fiona Murray

All times stated are UK

  1. A 'giant' of Northern Ireland politics

    That concludes our coverage of the funeral of former SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon, a key figure in the peace process and a man described as a "giant of Northern Ireland politics".

    Seamus Mallon

    Mr Mallon is being buried in a family plot in the cemetery beside St James' Church, Mullaghbrack, County Armagh.

  2. 'A 24-carat human being'

    Callers to Radio Ulster's Talkback programme have also been paying tribute to Mr Mallon.

    Seamus Mallon

    One of them, Michael from Newtownards, says he was one of the few Northern Ireland politicians who "was able to bridge the divide - a 24-carat human being".

  3. 'A life of culture and peace'

    Archbishop Eamon Martin paying tribute to Seamus Mallon.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'He was dedicated to a culture of life and peace'
  4. Final farewell

    Malachi Cush, who has been providing the music throughout the funeral Mass, sings Amazing Grace as Seamus Mallon's coffin is taken from the church, on his final journey.

    Coffin carried from the church
  5. 'He helped turn the page from darkness'

    Paying tribute to Mr Mallon on Monday, former Foyle SDLP MP Mark Durkan said he was "a man of intense passions, but he was also a man of very soft graces".

    Mark Durkan

    "His greatest legacy will be that we are all in a better place because he worked with others to turn the page from darkness."

  6. Mallon 'detested paramilitaries'

    Former Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has said Mr Mallon had a dry wit and was a practical, yet emotional politician, who could, at times, be difficult to work with.

    reg empey

    "The one thing I will say, and I believe most of my unionist colleagues would believe the same thing, he utterly and completely detested paramilitaries of whatever stripe, whether they were republican or loyalist," he said.

  7. 'The fearsome Mallon glare'

    Tim O'Connor, a former secretary general to the President of Ireland, described his friend Seamus Mallon as "a great chieftain of Irish political life".

    "Being inside the circle of Seamus Mallon’s friendship meant being in a very warm place indeed. He was fun, he was so kind," he told mourners at Mr Mallon's funeral.

    Tim O'Connor

    "Being the recipient of the fearsome Mallon glare over the glasses perched on the nose was a mighty uncomfortable place to be. But the clouds lifted quickly and the warmth of his sunshine was always worth the wait."

  8. Mallon 'held the SDLP together'

    Historian Eamon Phoenix says while former SDLP leader John Hume was "the man with the big idea" Seamus Mallon held the party together through difficult times".

    Funeral cortege

    He added that Mr Mallon had cradled dying childhood friends who had joined the security forces and had been shot by the IRA.

    He told Talkback that Mr Mallon had also faced sectarian violence by loyalists.

  9. 'Summed up the man perfectly'

    Ruairi O'Kane, former SDLP director of communications, says Archbishop Eamon Martin "nailed Seamus' character to a tee" during the service.

    Archbishop Eamon Martin

    "He caught that balance between Seamus the formidable politician, with Seamus the gentle grandfather, father, husband and just sort of summed up the man perfectly," he said.

  10. SDLP leader was among pallbearers

    SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and former leader Mark Durkan were among senior party figures to carry the coffin of Seamus Mallon into St James' Church. Pat Hume, the wife of former SDLP leader John Hume, also attended the funeral Mass.

    Coffin carried into the church

    After the funeral Mass, he will be buried in a family plot in the adjoining cemetery.

  11. Memories of a life

    Among the gifts brought to the front of the church were a copy of Mr Mallon's memoirs, a copy of his maiden speech to the House of Commons and a photo of him with Pope John Paul II.


    Also taking prominence, were a fishing reel, a pot of roses and a set of Rosapenna golf balls.

  12. 'A great non-violent leader'

    Queen's University Belfast academic Dr Gladys Ganiel says Mr Mallon "should go down as one of the great non-violent political leaders in Irish history".

    Seamus Mallon

    She added: "I think sometimes we underestimate the great non-violent leaders like Daniel O'Connell, so Seamus Mallon and John Hume - I think they're of that calibre and we should never forget that."

    She was speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme.

  13. He was an extraordinary character

    BBC News NI's political editor Mark Devenport says that Mr Mallon was an "extraordinary character".


    He says you were aware you were in the presence of a great mind, but he was also a people person who was full of anecdotes.

  14. Varadkar among the mourners

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney are among the mourners paying their respects in County Armagh.

    Leo Varadkar and mourners

    Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is also in attendance.

  15. 'Irish nationalist of an old school'

    Political commentator Malachi O'Doherty says while Mr Mallon could be "slightly crotchety" he was "very impressive" when you met him.


    "He was a tweedy, pipe smoking, Irish Catholic nationalist of an old school," he told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme.

  16. 'Presence of greatness'

    Archbishop Eamon Martin says he last met Seamus Mallon at the Kennedy Summer School in September.

    “Despite being into his 84th year, his energy and determination for peace were undimmed and the audience knew that they were in the presence of greatness.”

    Archbishop Eamon Martin

    He says Seamus Mallon “spoke with the authority and vision that came from having lived through the worst of the Troubles and personally played a central role in the landmark events of our peace process”.

  17. 'Fitting tribute'

    Archbishop Eamon Martin says the Mallon family should “find comfort in knowing he lived his life to the full and made a real difference to the world”.

    Archbishop Eamon Martin

    “A fitting tribute to the legacy of Seamus Mallon 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.”