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Ulster Unionists pay tribute to Seamus Mallon

Ulster Unionist Leader, Steve Aiken OBE MLA, said:

“First and foremost our sympathies are with Seamus Mallon`s family, friends and SDLP colleagues. I was very sad to hear this news. His passing is a massive loss. While we didn`t agree on some things, there is no doubt that Seamus Mallon was a great Irishman.

“In Seamus, the Ulster Unionist Party found someone who we could work with to restore devolution to Northern Ireland. Seamus Mallon was a tough politician who was committed to the primacy of politics and never forgot his roots.”

Former Ulster Unionist MEP, Jim Nicholson, served with Seamus Mallon at Council level and later they were political opponents in the Westminster constituency of Newry and Armagh.

Mr Nicholson said:

“I knew Seamus for decades having served on the old Armagh Council with him and then in later years as an opponent at Westminster constituency level. Seamus was always a tough, no nonsense opponent and whilst we had many political disagreements, we never let personal animosity come between us.

“When he and I were on council together or vying for the Westminster seat, they were dark days in Northern Ireland. Throughout he was a very strong advocate for nationalists, but I do believe that he thought deeply about the future and how nationalists and unionists could live peacefully together.

“I offer my deepest sympathies to Seamus`s family and many friends who will be feeling particular loss at this time.”

Former Newry & Armagh Assembly member, Danny Kennedy said:

“I offer my sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Seamus Mallon. He was a very considerable politician and political operator. There were times unionists viewed him as controversial and he was a fearsome political opponent, but ultimately he was a man capable of doing business with unionism.”

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