Taoiseach leads tributes after Gertrude Mallon's death
Taoiseach Enda Kenny led tributes to Gertrude Mallon, wife of former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon, after she died following a battle with illness.
Mrs Mallon, who was born Gertrude Cush, worked as a nurse and was a lifelong member of the SDLP - the party her husband served for more than two decades.
Late in her life, Mrs Mallon developed dementia and her husband quit politics to care for her in 2005.
"It is with regret that I learned of the passing of Gertrude Mallon," Mr Kenny said in a statement yesterday.
"I visited Gertrude and Seamus in their home last year in Markethill and saw first-hand the love and devotion they had for each other.
"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal."
Former SDLP leader John Hume described Gertrude 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 said.