A team from Dalriada School are to represent Northern Ireland in the UK finals of the European Youth Parliament in Liverpool next weekend. The four-day competition will take place at Liverpool Hope University, and will include both debating and team-building exercises.
The Dalriada team – made up of Abigail Curry, Samantha Hutchinson, Caitlin de Jode, Annie Gault, Annabeth McDowell, Triona Whiteside, Matthew Shaw, Leo Evans, Jack Burton and Jack Kendall – will represent the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.
They will argue that a culture of fiscal discipline is essential to solve the current economic crisis in the European Union. They will also participate in a series of challenging debates on topics as wide-ranging as the Olympic legacy, EU-Turkey relations and the crisis in South Sudan.
Team member Samantha Hutchinson summed up the feelings of her fellow Dalriads: ‘Taking part in EYP has been a fantastic opportunity and has opened my eyes to many different issues across the world. Meeting different people, having fun, but also discussing current issues, are some of the best parts. It’s exciting, educational and at times exhausting, but knowing that I’ve been part of this amazing team has been a highlight of my year’.
Team member Annabeth McDowell was equally enthusiastic: ‘The European Youth Parliament is a great opportunity to learn more about the world in which we live. It also helps to create more politically aware young people – and that can only be good for the future’.
The team has been sponsored in its preparations for the European Youth Parliament competition by Waterside Superstore owner, Mr Sunny Ghaie, and won the right to compete in the UK final after they triumphed in a day-long event in Belfast in March - impressing the judges on that occasion with a presentation on encouraging entrepreneurship across Europe. The winner of next week’s four-day tournament will go on to represent the UK at the European Youth Parliament in Munich.
The European Youth Parliament is an international, non-partisan organisation which seeks to increase young people’s awareness of European issues.