Is the Agreement Fit for Purpose?

October 27, 2023
Is the Agreement Fit for Purpose?

Working together the students from Friends' School Lisburn and St Dominic's College in Belfast assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the Agreement and shared their frustrations at the lack of functioning government at Stormont. "In our experience, Stormont is a place to visit, not a place that works" said the students to MLAs Emma Pengelly (DUP), David Honeyford (Alliance) and Robbie Butler (UUP) on 14th September.

In their report they outlined their five main areas of concern:

  • Disagreements
  • Lack of Government
  • Designation
  • Legacy Issues
  • Petitions of Concern

The students took turns highlighting their thoughts, frustrations and ideas in a presentation that was often hard-hitting. As young people they felt that the absence of government is undermining young people's interest not only in politics but in making Northern Ireland work - with 88% of those who leave for University not returning here and half of young people (aged 18 - 25) not voting.

The students have now also shared their report with Northern Ireland Office Minister Steve Baker MP, who has said: "I thought it was an important, interesting, insightful and challenging piece of work which deserves the widest consideration and debate."

This work is supported through a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund's 'Empowering Young People' programme.

You can download their report and read it for yourself - we'd love to hear your thoughts.

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