Local students challenge politicians to 'talk politics'

Session: 2014/2015

Date: 04 February 2015

Reference: SO 04/14/15

Following on from a series of successful 'Let's Talk Politics' events aimed at young people, sixth form students from schools in East, North and South Antrim, and East Londonderry constituencies will take up the challenge to quiz their local political representatives on the issues that matter to them and their local communities.

The conference will take place in the Des Allen Suite in the Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday 6 February and will include both panel and roundtable discussions. The young people will also be encouraged to participate anonymously, and answer and vote on a range of topical questions, using the latest audience response technology.

Speaking in advance of the event, the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Mitchel McLaughlin MLA said: "I am delighted that the Northern Ireland Assembly continues to plan and support important educational events such as this. I firmly believe that we should take every opportunity to encourage our local young people to become more involved with the democratic process and to engage directly with their elected representatives.

"The Northern Ireland Assembly Education Service has been working with schools and MLAs for many years to support and help young people develop their interest in, and understanding of, the Northern Ireland Assembly and local politics in general.

"The "Let's Talk" programme provides the opportunity for the Assembly to bring its work to local communities and is an important and worthwhile extension to the Education Service's ongoing work."


Notes to Editor:

The "Let's Talk Event will be held on Friday 6 February 2015 in the Des Allen Suite, Ballymena Showgrounds.


10.00am-12 noon: Panel Question and Answer.

12.45pm-2.20pm: Roundtable discussion sessions

2.20pm-2.45pm: Mock elections

Political representatives attending Panel Q&A:

- Paul Frew (DUP)

- Daithí McKay (SF)

- John Dallat (SDLP)

- Robin Swann (UUP)

Political representatives participating in roundtable session:

- David McIlveen (DUP)

- Cathal ÓhOisín (SF)

- Cllr Declan O'Loan (SDLP)

- Robin Swann (UUP)

- Jim Allister (TUV)

Participating schools:

- Limavady High School

- Downshire High School

- Carrickfergus College

- Cambridge House Grammar

- St Patrick's College

- St Mary's Limavady

- Cullybackey High School

- St Louis Grammar School

The event will be hosted by local journalist Paul McFadden and media are welcome to attend.

You can find out more about the Assembly Education Service at http://education.niassembly.gov.uk/

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