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Irish President Pauses For Thought

Three young authors attend British Council Annual Lecture given by President Michael D Higgins.

Headliners members celebrate the book launch of Britain and Ireland- Lives Entwined IV in which their essays have been published.President D Higgins

Laoise Holohan, 14, Fionnuala McGill, 15, and Tarah Graham, 15, have written accounts of their experiences as young people growing up in Belfast, experiences that are as varied as they are entwined.

Laoise Holohan remembers;

“I was born a while after the Good Friday Agreement. Me being me, I could barely tell you what it’s about. One thing I know about it is that it was needed and that afterwards it has gotten a bit better”.

Fionnuala McGill asks the question;

“I see signs of my background everyday...symbols of republicanism, of nationalism: but does it have any relevance to people my age today?"

Tarah Graham says;

“ In my head, religion is the start of many problems for people because I can see that some people are so embraced by their religion or culture that they are too close-minded to think that people can have other views or opinions."

Lives Entwined Book Cover

Speaking at Queens University, Belfast President Michael D Higgins highlighted their efforts when he said that the “frank and impressively honest expressions by young people on their experiences of identity, encounters and more than that, the full flowering of a peace yet to be encountered at community level” contributed greatly to the heart of the book.

"It was really important to have a younger voice represented in this edition of Lives Entwined and we are deeply grateful to Headliners and our young writers, Laoise, Fionnuala and Tarah for providing that so truthfully and so eloquently. It was fantastic that the President specifically referenced their input to Lives Entwined in his speech at the British Council Annual lecture at Queen’s, a speech described by the Irish Times as “his most significant about the complex relationship between Ireland and its nearest neighbour”. David Alderdice, Director, British Council, Northern Ireland.

Copies of Headliners essays in Britain and Ireland : Lives Entwined IV can be downloaded here.

About This Article

This article was written by Tarah Graham, 15, Laoise Holohan, 14, and Fionnuala McGill, 15, from Headliners in Belfast.

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