Seamus Mallon: Tony Blair said to me, ‘The trouble with you fellows is you have no guns’

The former SDLP leader on John Hume, the IRA and what’s next for Northern Ireland

Seamus Mallon in 1998, when he was deputy first minister of Northern Ireland. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Seamus Mallon in 1998, when he was deputy first minister of Northern Ireland. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

One of Northern Ireland’s most prominent nationalist politicians, Seamus Mallon was at the heart of the Social Democratic and Labour Party for three decades.

A member of the power-sharing Sunningdale Executive from 1973 to 1974, he was deputy leader of the party from 1979 to 2001, and was the SDLP spokesman on policing and justice, as well as MP for Newry and Armagh from 1983 to 2005.

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