Northern Ireland news

Lord Patten to deliver inaugural Seamus Mallon lecture

The inaugural Seamus Mallon Lecture will be delivered by Lord Patten of Barnes.
Seamus McKinney

THE last British governor of Hong Kong and former chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing, Chris Patten is to deliver the inaugural Seamus Mallon Lecture through the John and Pat Hume Foundation.

A former chairman of the British Conservative Party and cabinet minister in Margaret Thatcher's government, Lord Patton will be welcomed to the foundation remotely tomorrow by Mr Mallon's daughter, Orla.

Lord Patten oversaw the disbandment of the RUC and creation of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He has also served as European Commissioner for External Relations and is a former chairman of the BBC Trust. Lord Patten was also tasked with overseeing the return of Hong Kong to China as Britain's last governor to the territory in 1997.

A prominent English Catholic, Lord Patten helped co-ordinate Pope Benedict's visit to Britain in 2010 and was appointed chairman of the Vatican Media Advisory Committee by Pope Francis in 2014.

Mr Mallon, who died in January 2020, was the north's first deputy first minister following the establishment of the Stormont assembly and executive.

A deputy leader of the SDLP from 1979 to 2001, he served as MP for Newry and Armagh from 1986 to 2005. He was also an accomplished sportsman and played with his native Co Armagh.

Tomorrow's lecture at 7pm will be moderated by Dawn Purvis, vice chairwoman of the Hume Foundation. Those wishing to register can do so through

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