Students Challenge Local Politicians to “Talk Politics”

Session: 2014/2015

Date: 05 March 2015

Reference: SO 07/14/15

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

The Newry & Armagh Constituency conference will take place in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry, on Friday 6 March 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 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 Assembly Education Service has been working with schools and MLAs for many years to support and help young people to develop their interest in, and understanding of, the 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 March 2015 in the Clanrye Suite, Canal Court Hotel, Newry.


10.10am - 12.00pm:             Panel Question and Answer  

12.45pm – 2.30pm:            Round table discussions

 2.30pm –2.45pm:                Mock elections


Political representatives attending Panel Q&A: 

-       William Irwin (DUP)

-       Mickey Brady (Sinn Fein)

-       Dominic Bradley (SDLP)

-       Danny Kennedy (UUP)

-       John McCallister (Indp)

-       Adam Watt (UKIP)

Political representatives participating in roundtable session:

-       Gareth Wilson (DUP)

-       Chris Hazzard (Sinn Fein)

-       Danny Kennedy (UUP)

-       John McCallister (Indp)

-       Adam Watt (UKIP)

Participating schools:

-       Newry High School  

-       St Patrick’s High School

-       Royal School Armagh

-       St Malachy’s 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