Local Students Hold Question Time In Council Chamber


Local students had a chance to grill councillors last week.

Students from the South Eastern Regional College and the Southern Regional College took over the Newry Mourne and Down District Council chamber at the Downshire Civic Centre to stage a local ‘Question Time’. The event, held on Thursday, 18 October, marked Local Democracy Week and focused on the topical theme of ‘Brexit and its impact on our local economy—a student’s perspective’.

A panel consisting of five councillors, representing the various political groupings within the Council, and a representative from the Council’s Corporate Services Directorate, fielded questions from the students.

Pupils from SERC and SRC pictured with teacher Doreen Finnegan, with Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Oksana McMahon, Director of Corporate Services, Dorinnia Carville, with Councillors Harry Harvey, Andy McMurray, John Trainor, Jim Macauley and Question Master Jim Fitzpatrick,  Journalist and Broadcaster for BBC NI.

Deputy Chairperson of Council, Councillor Oksana McMahon, officiated at the event which was chaired by local broadcaster Jim Fitzpatrick. Speaking at the end of the debate, she said: “I am delighted to have taken part in this debate and am impressed by your thoughtful and insightful questions and lively and engaged participation in today’s Local Democracy Week event.

“One of the Council’s strategic objectives is to empower and improve the capacity of our communities. From listening to you today, I have no doubt that, on completion of your studies, you will make a real contribution to our district and that those who travel beyond these shores will be great ambassadors for Newry Mourne and Down.

“I wish you well in your studies and am sure you have a very bright future ahead. I would also encourage any of you who may be interested, to consider becoming a Councillor in the future—it is a great way of positively contributing to your local community.” 

Question Time with Jim Fitzpatrick Journalist and Broadcaster for BBC NI at teh council chamber in Downpatrick as part of Local Democracy Week.