Students from New-Bridge Integrated College joined other young people from integrated schools and youth groups across Northern Ireland at Stormont, for an EU election hustings featuring a panel of politicians.
The event on May 2, saw young people in the packed Senate Chamber challenge the speakers on issues of jobs and skills, inclusion and integration and the benefits of EU membership.
The event was organised by the Integrated Education Fund and sponsored by Trevor Lunn MLA. It was chaired by journalist and broadcaster Jim Fitzpatrick.
The eight speakers representing a range of parties entering candidates in the forthcoming European elections, began the debate by setting out their position on the merits and challenges of the European Union.
An electronic voting system gave a snapshot of the audience’s views and responses to what they heard from the platform. One vote revealed that more than 94% of the audience were in favour of remaining within the EU, leaving the candidates in no doubt regarding the pro-European views of the young people.
The politicians who braved the young peoples’ question were: Alex Atwood - SDLP, Mark Brotherston - NI Conservatives, Ross Brown - Green Party, Stephen Farry - Alliance, Phil Flanagan - SF, Danny Kinahan - UUP, Tina McKenzie - NI21 and Mervyn Storey - DUP.