Seamus Mallon

During the sixties Seamus Mallon was introduced to politics during the Civil Rights movement, leading to a role as deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1979. This would launch an extensive political career which would include serving as deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2001 and Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party from 1979 to 2001.

As a central figure in the peace process, Mallon was also the first politician to be elected to both the Irish Senate (in 1981) and the old Northern Ireland assembly (in 1982). His unique viewpoint as a Catholic growing up in a predominantly Protestant village, Mallon gained a reputation for speaking out against violence from all sides.