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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Teenager gives passionate speech on voting age in Youth Parliament

Published 12/11/2016 | 12:07

Darragh O’Reilly gave a passionate speech in favour of lowering the voting age in the UK’s Youth Parliament debate yesterday.

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“Votes at 16 is no one-trick pony. It is nothing short of handing young people the freedom to achieve freedom. The freedom to actually fund the NHS, the freedom to actually have a decent transport system, the freedom to fight racism.

“And by Christ, if we’re a youth parliament and say ‘We don’t want that power; we can’t get that power,’ what are we but a talking shop?”

The MYP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, said that the youth vote could have helped keep the UK in the EU.

“I live five-and-a-half miles from the Irish Republic. Do you think my constituents would be happy to know that they were denied a vote and the went a certain way due to an old guy in Kent? I love him and all but the thing is that my community is on the line,” he said.

The Youth Parliament brings 11-18-year-olds together once a year for a debate on five issues.

Along with the issue of the voting age, this year’s MYPs yesterday debated public transport, cuts to the NHS, tackling racism and a ‘curriculum for life’.

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