Belfast Telegraph

Political leaders pay respects to wife of SDLP's Seamus Mallon

By Cate McCurry

A number of high-profile political leaders attended the funeral of the wife of former SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon in Co Armagh yesterday.

Gertrude Mallon (nee Cush) passed away in her family home on Monday after suffering from a long illness and dementia for many years.

The former Deputy First Minister was comforted by a number of the mourners who attended yesterday morning's funeral at St James of Jerusalem Church in Mullaghbrack, close to their Markethill home where the family has lived for some 50 years.

Seamus (80) quit the world of politics in 2005 to care for his wife after she started suffering poor health.

His daughter Orla and granddaughter Lara comforted each other at the funeral. Among the mourners paying tribute was former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, former SDLP leader John Hume and current SDLP leader Colum Eastwood.

As news of her death emerged, SDLP veteran John Hume described Mrs Mallon as the "beating heart" of the party in south Armagh.

"She was a tower of support to Seamus, her contribution to peace, politics and people across this island is immeasurable," he added.

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