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Britain's Former N. Ireland Secretary, Mo Mowlam, Dead at 55

Britain's former Northern Ireland Secretary, Mo Mowlam, who helped secure the province's 1998 Good Friday peace accord, has died at the age of 55.

A family spokesman says Ms. Mowlam died Friday morning at a hospice south of London in Canterbury. Friends say radiotherapy treatments Ms. Mowlam underwent for a brain tumor had affected her balance. She recently fell, hit her head and never regained consciousness.

Ms. Mowlam, known for her lively and direct style, was elected to parliament in 1987 and became Northern Ireland Secretary in 1997. She withdrew from politics in 2001.

Both British Prime Minister Blair and his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern paid tribute to Ms. Mowlam for her energetic efforts on behalf of peace in Northern Ireland. The Good Friday peace accord halted decades of sectarian violence in the British province.