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Inaugural members elected to Northern Ireland Youth Congress

Thirty-five young people have been elected to sit on the first Northern Ireland Youth Congress, which is already drawing up its work for the year ahead.

Almost 7,000 young people cast their votes in an online ballot to elect the members and to send local representatives to the UK Youth Parliament.

It will hold its first meeting on March 22, when it will work to draw up a manifesto for the next year.

A further 18 young people will take their seats in the UK Youth Parliament, which will campaign strongly for votes for 16 and 17-year-olds this year.

The NI Youth Congress was set up by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum (NIYF) with the intention of paving the way for a NI Youth Assembly that will shadow the Stormont Assembly.

NIYF chairman Martin McAuley said that the vote showed young people were committed to playing their part in shaping the future of Northern Ireland.

Conor Fegan, who won a place on the NI Youth Congress for the Newry and Armagh constituency, added that he was delighted to have been elected.

"I am confident that we can consolidate the congress this year to ensure that it stands as a body supportive of the youth in Northern Ireland for many years to come," he said.

Belfast Telegraph