A testing time as teen councillor takes seat
Published 12/05/2011 | 07:05
Just a day after being elected, Northern Ireland’s youngest serving councillor was back at university to sit a first year politics exam.
At just 19, Guy Spence, who was elected as a DUP councillor in Belfast, said he “will be studying politics during the day and practicing it at night”.
The teenager spoke to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday fresh from sitting his exam. He had made a quick change into a sharp grey suit and blue tie for a photo-call at the City Hall for newly-elected councillors.
The spiky hair and baby face sets him apart from the other city
councillors, some of whom are old enough to be his grandparents, but Guy is determined to be a role model for his generation.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I’m still on cloud nine.”
Guy, from the Shore Road in north Belfast, polled 946 first preference votes for the Castle ward and claimed a seat in the ‘Dome of Delight’ on the third count. The former Linfield juniors goalkeeper gave up a career in football to get involved in politics.
So what was the reaction to him from voters on the doorsteps?
“It was the really old folk that raised their eyebrows, but most people I met were supportive,” he said.
Guy attends the landmark church on the Shore Road, the evangelical Protestant Metropolitan Tabernacle, which counts the DUP leader Peter Robinson among its congregation.
One of his main quests as a city councillor is to help tackle the spiralling suicide crisis which has claimed many young lives in north Belfast. “It has affected a few of my close friends,” he said.