Belfast Telegraph

Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin's message for our youth

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

The republican Speaker of the Assembly has marked his first Commonwealth Day with an event for young people.

Mitchel McLaughlin, who said he had set aside his personal politics to lead the Assembly's Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, told the teenage audience they had the potential to transform local politics.

The 69-year-old Sinn Fein MLA from the Bogside in Londonderry said: "You don't carry the same baggage and scars with you that the rest of us do.

"That is bound to put you in a better position to develop the relationships across the community and to reach the agreements required to make progress in our political system."

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