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Seamus Mallon in tribute to pioneering barrister McCann

By Dearbhail McDonald

Published 25/11/2015

Seamus Mallon
Seamus Mallon

Seamus Mallon, the former SDLP leader and Deputy First Minister, has led tributes to the barrister Stephen McCann.

The criminal lawyer, who as a young man canvassed for Mr Mallon, died suddenly last week at his Dublin home aged 46.

Mr McCann was one of a handful of Irish lawyers who pioneered a series of cases in the late 1990s challenging the State's provisions for children in care.

Last night Mr Mallon said Mr McCann was a person of tremendous character and ability who "knew the value of life and knew the value of peace".

"His sudden death is something which should make us all remember a person of great integrity and ability," added Mr Mallon.

Seamus Dooley, Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said "Stephen was a talented and erudite barrister", and had a "passionate devotion to the peace process".

Mr McCann is survived by his mother Deirdre, his brother, Vincent and sisters Eleanor and Elizabeth. He will be buried today following a funeral Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh.

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