Sarah McCandless from Banbridge Academy impressed a panel of judges with her joke in Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Tuesday.
Paddy and Murphy were working on a building site.
Her joke was: ‘Paddy says to Murphy: “I’m gonna have the day off, I’m gonna pretend I’m mad.”
‘So he climbs up to the rafters and hangs upside down and shouts: “I’m a lightbulb, I’m a lightbulb!”
‘The foreman shouts: “Paddy you’re mad, go home,” so he leaves the site. Murphy starts packing his kit up as well.’
“Where are you going?” asked the foreman
“Well I can’t work in the dark!” says Murphy.’
She joined Education Minister John O’Dowd, local MLA Sydney Anderson and dozens of local school children who had reached the final of an RCSLT joke telling contest, but it was Junior Minister Jonathan Bell who took home the prize of funniest MLA.
Comedy geniuses competed against their local MLAs to see who could bring the most laughter to the corridors of power.
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists grand final event was once again hosted by one of Northern Ireland’s most familiar voices – Mr William Hay MLA, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Speaker welcomed RCSLT Country Councillor Anne Gamble to the historic Senate Chamber in Parliament Buildings, to judge the participants alongside the Prince’s Trust’s Ian Jeffers, Children in Northern Ireland CEO Pauline Leeson, and BBC Radio Ulster’s Kerry McLean.
The RCSLT event, now in its third year, brought together pupils, parents, teachers, MLAs and speech and language therapists for a day of comedy to highlight the importance of communication skills as part of the UK wide Giving Voice campaign.
The Speaker said: “As an institution in which speaking and communication play a huge part, I have been very keen that the Assembly should provide a platform to highlight the speech and language difficulties many people face. It is particularly important that we give all of our children and young people the support, encouragement and recognition they deserve.”
He continued: “I often see in the Assembly chamber that humour can be an effective way of putting a point across I often see in the Assembly chamber that humour can be an effective way in putting a point across and I very much hope that today’s event will go some way towards highlighting these challenges and the valuable work done by speech and language therapists in a fun and enjoyable way.”
The need to act to address this problem has never been greater according to Anne Gamble, RCSLT Northern Ireland Country Councillor, who explained the importance of the Voice Box Awards.