Northern Ireland news

Caring west Belfast pupils make history by addressing council chamber on homelessness

Lauren Chambers, Joshua Rooney and Tiernagh Donnelly from John Paul II Primary School spoke to Belfast city councillors about homelessness. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

PUPILS from a west Belfast primary school made history yesterday as the first class of children to address councillors in the City Hall chamber.

The P6 class of John Paul II PS, along with teacher Patrice Hardy, attended the monthly meeting of Belfast City Council to ask elected representatives to support a motion acknowledging that having a home is a basic right.

The children also requested that the City Hall be lit up to raise awareness for the homeless.

The pupils took the initiative following a visit to their school from the Edmund Rice Network, based in the Westcourt Centre in west Belfast.

Principal Raymond Hunter said the class have taken on many projects to help raise awareness Qand within that they lobbied their local councillor Stevie Corr asking if they could address the chamber".

"This is a momentous occasion for the school and the wider community. Our pupils are extremely passionate and empathic regarding social justice - particularly the homelessness issue throughout our city," he said.

"Our young people are leading from the front and are an example to others. They know well that you are never too young to make a difference."

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