16/05/2006

Children's park named in honour of Mo Mowlam

A children's park within the grounds of the Stormont estate has today been named after former Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam.

Ms Mowlam, was one of the most popular and respected NI Secretary's during the her time in office between 1997 and 1999.

She died in August last year after a lengthy illness at the age of 55.

The Children’s Park was developed during her time as Secretary of State and today an ornamental stone was unveiled to commemorate the naming of the park.

Speaking at the ceremony, current Secretary of State, Peter Hain, said: “I feel honoured to be able to provide this permanent memorial to Mo within the Stormont Estate, where she worked tirelessly to improve the lives of all the people of Northern Ireland. Her achievements, not least the crucial role she played in the signing of the Belfast Agreement, provided a positive legacy for the peace process.

“Mo was not only a remarkable politician but also a person of tremendous warmth and generosity. Her sparkle and informal manner made many people, old and young, feel at ease. It therefore seems appropriate that this symbol has been placed where children play and so that future generations will know her name.”

Among the guests at the unveiling was Mo’s husband Jon Norton.

Mr Norton said: “This is a wonderful tribute to Mo. She believed, very strongly that the peace had to be carried on and cemented by the next generations in Northern Ireland. I am very moved to be here and to honour her memory.”

Mo was a strong advocate for opening up the Stormont Estate for public use.

As a personal tribute to Ms Mowlam, Mr Hain joined Mr Norton and some of the attending schoolchildren on the swings.

(EF/SP)

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