Friday 18 October 2019

United Ireland only possible if nationalists 'show generosity' to unionists, says Mallon

Book launch: Former SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon. Picture: David Conachy
Book launch: Former SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon. Picture: David Conachy
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Former SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon has said the only way unionists will support a united Ireland is if nationalists offer "generosity".

More than 100 people gathered at the Irish Architectural Archive in Merrion Square, Dublin, last night for the launch of the 82-year-old's first book, 'A Shared Home Place'.

Co-authored by veteran journalist Andy Pollak, the memoir traces Mr Mallon's rise in politics and highlights his blueprint for moving towards a united Ireland.

"The book is based on the ideal that Northern Ireland should be a shared home place for everyone. Irish unity can only come about through unionist consent," he said. "Nationalists need to show generosity if they're ever going to persuade unionists of the benefits of a united Ireland."

'A Shared Home Place' describes Mr Mallon's happy upbringing in south Armagh as a Catholic in a 90pc Protestant village; his turbulent years as a constitutional politician in the violent maelstrom of near-civil war; and his central role in the peace process.

Meanwhile, former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams criticised Mr Mallon yesterday. "Seamus Mallon's willingness to change the Good Friday Agreement & reintroduce the unionist veto threatens progress and ignores the lessons and failures of partition," he tweeted.

Irish Independent

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