Councillor Michael Savage, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council officially opened a new temporary display of memorabilia belonging to former deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Seamus Mallon at Newry and Mourne Museum on 9 December.

This new display, ‘Seamus Mallon: The Man and the Politician’ is based on several artefacts that were donated to Newry and Mourne Museum by Mr Mallon’s family in February 2022.

Seamus Mallon was born on 17th August 1936 in the county Armagh village of Markethill, about eleven miles north-west of Newry he was educated at the Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School in Newry and then at St. Patrick’s Grammar School in Armagh.

On display are several artefacts from Mr Mallon’s career including a Donegal herringbone overcoat and ties made by Newry based design company, Lorsha. A pass and diary used by Mr. Mallon on his trips to Westminster in which he recorded details of political meetings.

During his long political career, he held many positions including, deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) (1979 – 2001), Member of Parliament for Newry and Armagh (1986 – 2005), Member of the Legislative Assembly for Newry and Armagh (1998 – 2003) and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland (1998 - 2001).

Opening the display Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage commented, “This small display of artefacts still manages to convey the big role Seamus played in shaping our society today. From the iconic over-coat, to the photograph of Seamus with President Clinton, Tony Blair and David Trimble, highlights the huge role help played in politics not just locally but globally."

Dr Ken Abraham, Assistant Curator, at Newry and Mourne Museum, stated “The Museum Collection contains artefacts and costumes relating to local people from all walks of life. This donation of material relating to Seamus Mallon, who was involved in local, national and international politics, as well as amateur drama and sport in the Newry and Armagh area, significantly enriches the Museum Collection, especially in modern Irish history and politics.”

The display, housed in Gallery Three of the Museum, is open to the public free of charge until June 2023.