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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 12 October, 1999, 06:51 GMT 07:51 UK
Tributes for Mo Mowlam
Mo Mowlam: Praised by a number of party leaders
Mo Mowlam: Praised by a number of party leaders
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John Hume has paid tribute to Mo Mowlam's "outstanding" contribution as secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

Cabinet reshuffle
He said: "The people of Northern Ireland owe her a deep debt of gratitude for the superb work that she has done, particularly in such difficult times.

"She has made an enormous contribution towards creating peace on our streets," he said.

Mr Hume's deputy, Seamus Mallon said he would personally miss the secretary of state.

"She was unique in the way in which she approached problems. Great imagination, great vision", he said.

Dr Mowlam was also warmly praised by the the Alliance Party and the Women's Coalition.

And Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the secretary of state had played a central role in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement.

"I wish Mo Mowlam well in her new job. I am sure that she will bring to it the same energy and focus she brought to her time in the north."

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said the outgoing NI secretary had displayed "courage and understanding".

"Speaking on behalf of the government and the Irish people, I would like to express our gratitude to Dr Mowlam on her outstanding contribution to peace and political progress over the past two years", he said.

But the main unionist groups were more critical of her record. The Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had been calling for the secretary of state's dismissal.

DUP leader Ian Paisley described Dr Mowlam as "a failure".

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble chose not to talk about previous tensions and said they "wished her all the best for the future".

'Significant' contribution

Alliance Party leader Sean Neeson said he wished Dr Mowlam well in the future.

He said her commitment to Northern Ireland had been "very significant".

Monica McWilliams from the Women's Coalition said the secretary of state had done a "tremendous job" and her party would be "very sorry" to see her go.

She praised Dr Mowlam's "enthusiasm, energy and commitment".

"She gave her all, and then some more. She was good for Northern Ireland. It is a place much changed, almost beyond recognition, since her arrival."

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams praised the role Mo Mowlam played in negotiating the Agreement and wished her well. He also called for an urgent meeting with the new Northern Ireland secretary.

Workers Party President Tom French said Dr Mowlam's period in office had been "fraught with difficulty".

But he added: "While her intentions towards Northern Ireland and its people were good, her style and personality may have created problems where no problems existed".

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SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon: Mo Mowlam "brought a breath of fresh air into Northern Ireland politics"
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