Newtownabbey students back 21st Century Suffragettes campaign
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The students joined with their counterparts from schools across the province to present to MLAs as the elected representatives returned to Stormont for the Assembly recall motion.
Ellen McComb and Poppy Irvine from Abbey Community College addressed MLAs as part of the effort which aims to get more young people registered to vote.
Speaking to the Newtownabbey Times, Poppy and Ellen said: “Currently only 12 per cent of 16-17 year olds have registered in Northern Ireland.
"Throughout the campaign the students taking part will make presentations in their schools to encourage their peers to register.
“This campaign is extremely important as there are so many young people who are afraid of voting. They don't have an understanding on the subject of politics and many are not aware that you can actually register from the age of 16.
“We believe that the only way to make a positive change in the percentage of young people voting is by making our voices heard. We had the opportunity to address MLAs along with multiple influential public figures.
“Young people can make such big changes on issues that will affect them like university fees and fair pay which is especially important in Northern Ireland's current political situation.”
Praising the local students for their involvement in the programme, South Antrim Alliance MLA John Blair said: “Those taking the 21st Century Suffragettes campaign forward are to be congratulated for their work in trying to increase the numbers of young people participating in political activity, debate and public life.
"There is no question that we need to have more young people involved in politics generally so that it is more representative of our society. Votes at 16 are a crucial part of motivating our young people to take part as well as recognising their role and contribution in the lives of us all.
“I am truly delighted that students from Newtownabbey are taking part in this campaign, it adds to the encouragement that I have had from having working closely with the Youth Assembly at Stormont and in seeing my own colleague, Ald Lewis Boyle, elected in Ballyclare last year at the age of 18.”