Three Speakers Event

The morning of Tuesday 1st October saw Grosvenor Grammar School welcome pupils and teachers from seven other local Schools to its William Moles Hall as it staged the highly prestigious ‘Three Speakers Event’ on behalf of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The event saw William Hay MLA, John Bercow MP and Seán Barrett TD, speakers of the Northern Ireland Assembly, House of Commons and Ireland’s House of Representatives respectively, visit the School as part of a series of engagements within Northern Ireland, fielding the questions of A Level students from each of the eight schools in attendance.

The event, compered by the BBC’s Mark Carruthers, began with a presentation from Marina McConville, Education Officer at the Northern Ireland Assembly, before Grosvenor’s Principal Mr Robin McLoughlin delivered an official welcome to those in attendance. Following this proceedings began with a short introduction from Mr Carruthers before the three Speakers were afforded the opportunity to answer a series of questions which had been submitted by pupils from each School in advance.

During the hour-and-a-quarter’s worth of discussion key matters such as the role of the speaker, the importance of political scrutiny, ‘planted’ questions, the process by which a speaker is elected, maintaining order and discipline during political debate and impartiality were addressed. Throughout the session those present were captivated by the informative, engaging and at times entertaining responses of the three speakers, the sharing of whose experiences proved invaluable to the 170 students in attendance.

The School would like to thank Messrs Hay, Bercow and Barrett for generously taking the time to attend on the day, representatives from the Northern Ireland Assembly on whose behalf the School staged the event, as well as the pupils and teachers from ‘Methodist College Belfast’, ‘Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College, Knock’, ‘Lagan College’, ‘Aquinas Grammar School’, ‘Sullivan Upper School’, ‘Bloomfield Collegiate’ and ‘Strathearn Grammar School’, many of whom contributed to making the question-and-answer session such a resounding success.

Grosvenor looks forward to staging many more worthwhile events in the near future as well as following the careers of the three speakers closely over the years to come.