Seamus Mallon, the 81-year-old former deputy leader of the SDLP, has been conferred with the freedom of Drogheda in Co Louth.

Mr Mallon, a former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, entered politics in 1962 and has been recognised for his role in the peace process.

The freedom of Drogheda was bestowed on him in a ceremony at the Highlanes Gallery by Mayor Pio Smith.

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Mr Smith described Mr Mallon as a passionate opponent of institutionalised discrimination.

Mr Mallon thanked the members of the borough for the honour.

He recalled how he had seen some of the worst atrocities during the Troubles while living in Markethill, Co Armagh and it was important not to forget some of those images.

Three elected members of Sinn Féin opposed the move to bestow the freedom of Drogheda on Mr Mallon and did not attend the ceremony.