|Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland|
1 July 1998 – 6 November 2001
|First Minister||David Trimble|
|Preceded by||Office Created|
|Succeeded by||Mark Durkan|
|Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Newry and Armagh
25 June 1998 – 26 November 2003
|Preceded by||Constituency Created|
|Succeeded by||Dominic Bradley|
|Member of Parliament
for Newry and Armagh
23 January 1986 – 5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Jim Nicholson|
|Succeeded by||Conor Murphy|
18 February 1982 – 24 November 1982
|Constituency||Nominated by the Taoiseach|
17 August 1936 |
Markethill, Northern Ireland
|Alma mater||St. Mary's University College|
Seamus Frederick Mallon (born 17 August 1936) is an Irish politician who was the first deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2001. He was also the Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party from 1979 to 2001.
Seamus Mallon was born in the largely Protestant village of Markethill and was educated at the Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School in Newry and St. Patrick's Grammar School, Armagh. As a career he chose teaching like his father, becoming headmaster of St. James's Primary School in Markethill. Mallon was also involved in the Gaelic Athletic Association, playing Gaelic football for County Armagh.
Introduction to politics
During the sixties he was involved in the civil rights movement, especially in his native Armagh. In 1979, when John Hume went from being deputy leader of the SDLP (under Gerry Fitt) to leader, Mallon became deputy leader. He was elected to the first power-sharing Assembly in 1973, and to the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention in 1975 representing Armagh. Between May and December 1982 Mallon was appointed by the then Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Charles Haughey to the Republic's upper house, Seanad Éireann.
1982 Assembly and Westminster
In 1982 he was elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly, set up as part of then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior's rolling devolution. However due to his membership of the Seanad he was, following a challenge by Unionist politicians, disqualified. Under legislation of the time, no elected member of a British parliament or regional assembly could serve in a parliament outside the United Kingdom without losing their British seat. That restriction was removed with regards to the Oireachtas by the Disqualifications Act 2000.
In 1986 he was elected to Westminster as an MP for Newry & Armagh, a seat he held until 2005. He won the seat in a by-election to replace Jim Nicholson, who had resigned his seat in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement, along with all the other Northern Irish unionist MPs. Nicholson was the only MP to fail to be re-elected.
Peace Process and 1998 Assembly
In 1994 Mallon was elected to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation. He was a member of the SDLP team at the all-party negotiations (the 'Stormont talks') that opened in Belfast in June 1996. In the course of the talks, he remarked that whatever emerged would be "Sunningdale for slow learners", referring to the 1973 Sunningdale Agreement. He has frequently been misquoted as saying that the Good Friday Agreement, which resulted from the talks in 1998, was "Sunningdale for slow learners". The Good Friday Agreement led to the setting up of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which was elected in June 1998, with a power-sharing Executive. Mallon was elected as member for Newry and Armagh, and in December 1999 he became deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, serving alongside Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble.
In 2001 Seamus Mallon retired, along with John Hume, from the leadership of the SDLP. Mark Durkan replaced both; Hume as leader and Mallon as Deputy First Minister, when the Northern Ireland Executive was re-established following a suspension.
He is married to the former Gertrude Cush, and they have one child.
- "Key players". The Daily Telegraph. 2001-10-25. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Seamus Mallon: SDLP deputy leader". BBC News Online. 2001-03-15. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- O'Malley, Joe (29 September 1996). "No lifeboat anywhere as lame duck talks head for the rapids". Sunday Independent.
- For instance, Downey, James (2008-03-22). "Sad to say, end of Paisley is no reason to chuckle". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Trimble, Mallon elected leaders of N. Irish Assembly". CNN. 1998-07-01. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Mallon ruled out as SDLP leader". BBC News Online. 2001-09-20. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Sinn Fein win Newry and Armagh". BBC News Online. 2005-05-06. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
|Party political offices|
|Deputy Leader of the SDLP
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Newry and Armagh
|Northern Ireland Assembly|
|Member of the Legislative Assembly for Newry and Armagh
|Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland