JFK’s Bunratty Girls

Bunratty Castle was built in 1425 by the Earl of Thomond. The Earl had a tradition of hospitality, and since 1963 that tradition has been carried on through the many Bunratty Medieval Banquets held every year in the castle. The Banquets have welcomed guests from across the world to dine in medieval style and enjoy the classical Irish music as performed by the Bunratty singers – who have been described as “Ireland’s foremost cultural ambassadors” and the “Riverdance of their day.” But one significant fan of the Bunratty singers was none other than John F. Kennedy himself, President of the United States.

My grandmother, Una Wallace, was a classically trained singer and part of the original group of Bunratty Singers of 1963 whose travels included three tours of the East and West coasts of USA. In the Summer of 1963, they found themselves in the extraordinary position of being on-board an Airforce One helicopter from Shannon to Dublin to sing for US President John F. Kennedy at the American Embassy. Kennedy was the most powerful man in the world and an icon admired by many, and the opportunity of singing for him was an unbelievable experience for eight humble women from all over Ireland.

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The Bunratty Castle singers meeting David Power (left) and Ambassador McCloskey (right)

My grandmother remembers the day to be “absolutely amazing”. Kennedy was so impressed with the performance that he requested for the Bunratty singers to come to the White House to sing. Nanny describes meeting David Power, special aide to Kennedy: “he was a lovely man and he arranged for us to visit Washington to sing at the White House for President Kennedy.” Kennedy asked if the girls would also perform at Shannon Airport before his departure home, which of course they did. “We sang for him again at Shannon and as he was leaving, he turned around and looked at us and said, “there’s my girls” – he was just lovely, really lovely”, my grandmother reminisced.

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President Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and my grandmother, Una (in the green) at Shannon Airport

Unfortunately, before the Bunratty Singers got to visit Washington President Kennedy had been assassinated. They were taken to the White House and met the new President Johnson, but “it was so sad that he [Kennedy] wasn’t there” nanny said, “still, going into the oval office was something special.” My grandmother sat in the President’s chair at his desk in the oval office as she posed for a photograph with the rest of the singers. “The first thing Dave Power said was to take a look at the book on the desk – it was a photograph album of Kennedy’s and we were in it, a picture taken when he visited Ireland. We couldn’t believe it!” she told me, “It was such an honour to have met him, I have always cherished the memories.”

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My grandmother pictured in the President’s chair in the Oval Office, with the Bunratty girls and David Power

In June 1967 Jackie Kennedy, the late President’s wife, and her two children Caroline and John came to Ireland. During their holiday they visited Bunratty Castle and the Bunratty singers where a special banquet was held. “The children curtseyed when they came in, they must have thought this is what you should do!” my grandmother joked. The Bunratty girls performed for Jackie, and when they were finished she requested that they sing ‘Danny Boy’, which was one of the songs they had sang for President Kennedy. Nanny explained, “We wouldn’t have usually sang ‘Danny Boy’ in the castle as it would have been too ‘pop’, but we sang it anyway and I remember singing my heart out thinking that Jackie was thinking about her late husband. But when we had finished and she was walking out past us she spoke to us in her soft whispered voice and said, “that was lovely – Caroline has a pony called Danny Boy!” and I realised I was singing for a flippin’ horse!”

 

Emma McVeigh is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. You can contact her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-mcveigh-611462a4/ or on Twitter @emmamcveigh_

The repeal of Net Neutrality – is America okay?

It’s not exactly new information that since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, America hasn’t really improved as a nation, despite Trump’s presidential campaign slogan ‘make American great again.’ The majority of the decisions he’s made since winning the election has outraged most of the country, like his decision to ban transgender troops, or the travel ban he enforced just one week after his inauguration.

However, the most recent nation-wide dilemma, – the plan to repeal Obama-era net neutrality protections – even has Trump supporters up in arms, probably because this is the first major decision under Trump’s rule that is actually going to affect all of them.

Net neutrality demands that all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all web traffic the same, and should enable access to all content and applications, regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking specific products or websites.

Without net neutrality, ISPs will no longer have to treat all internet traffic equally, and will be able to favour certain websites and services over others.

Think of Internet traffic like actual traffic, without net neutrality, ISPs like BT and Verizon can develop literal fast and slow lanes. One certain ISP could have the power to slow down its competitors’ content, or block specific political opinions or beliefs that it disagrees with, and in turn could charge extra fees to the very few content companies that could afford to pay for special treatment, which will degrade everyone else to a slower tier of service. The repeal of net neutrality would destroy the open internet.

On Thursday 14th December 2017, Trump’s Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to approve this controversial plan of repealing net-neutrality.

Of course, no one, other than the FCC know what this repeal of net neutrality actually means for users of the Internet, although some people have made their predictions.

The most likely of outcomes, is that the prices the public pay for their Internet will go up, but variety and diversity of accessible web pages will go down and the largest, most well-known of Internet companies will gain a significant advantage over small, upstart companies. As a consumer, the end of net neutrality means your most-used and favourite websites are going to load a lot more slowly, and some of your favourite content may just go away, because your provider can’t pay the fee. The consumer will no longer be in control, the ISP will start to pick the winners and losers instead of the Internet user themselves.

Andrew Leonard used this example in an online article on rollingstone.com: “Let’s say you’re a regular user of Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Currently, you’ve got all those apps on your phone and laptop and they all work perfectly. The pages load fast, and orders go through right away. But you get your service through Verizon, and now, with no net neutrality, Verizon is capable of saying to all three online retailers: ‘hey, if you want to be in the fast lane of the Internet, you have to pay for our premium package’. Amazon and eBay, the two more established and larger online companies can afford to do this, but Esty, as a smaller upstarter company, unfortunately cannot, meaning Etsy will from now on, be in the slow lane, and the next time you want to search for a “Save Net Neutrality” t-shirt to wear to your next protest, the page takes absolutely forever to load.”

But that’s not all. Under the new rules, ISPs won’t just be free to charge more for faster access, they’ll be completely free to simply block access to whatever part of the Internet they feel serves their financial interest. Comcast, for example, may decide that it makes no sense to allow Netflix to compete with its own streaming service and stop allowing its users access to the site.

Right now, it seems to be the end of the Internet as Americans know it. But a legal effort to overturn the decision made by Trump’s FCC is expected to begin immediately. Congress has the power to pass legislation to restore net neutrality, and this could mean greater turn out in the 2018 midterm elections from millennials who care deeply about this issue. Around 18 states also plan on suing the FCC in order to defend net neutrality protections, including New York, California, North Carolina and Virginia.

Hollie Thomson is a final year BSc student in Communication Management and Public Relations. She can be found on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/holliethomson/ or Facebook: Hollie Thomson

Politics- Out of reach for generation Y?

Generation Y, also known as ‘millennial’s’ are those born between 1982 and 2004. Although the delineation of who the term millennial is referring to varies, Howe and Strauss (2000) are customarily credited with coining the term and they suggest that they are born within these particular dates.

This is the generation that are renowned for having the least amount of interest in politics. Of course there are young people who have a genuine interest and are politically engaged but this doesn’t equate to the mass proportion of political conversation that takes place in the public sphere between older generations. Since public opinion is formed in the public sphere and politics is renowned for not having a major part in generation Y’s public sphere.. how is opinion formed? What is the future for politics?

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A lot of people would argue that the reasoning behind little interest in politics for millennial’s is due to it being unrelatable a lot of the time as manifestos and policies rarely appeal to them, but, is this trend changing? Stats show that in 2015, 1 in 5 millennials had no interest whatsoever in politics but by 2017 this dropped to less than 1 in 10 stating they had no interest in politics. Could this be because of Brexit and the political agenda and personal appeal throughout the process? Many politicians across the globe are adopting mannerisms that make them more relatable to the young. Take Donald Trump; since his presidential campaign, there has been more interest in politics than ever before. Although a large factor for this is almost certainly due to his ludicrous statements and often outlandish behaviour, there has to be something said for his engagement through platforms such as twitter. If he didn’t make his opinions so public and abrupt, people would most likely not take as much of an interest in what was going on in American politics.

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Politics may start to feature in our generations conversation more due to it becoming less of a trivial subject with the likes of celebrities such as Georgia Toffolo claiming their interest in the subject.AA3

 

Politicians have began to make a point of talking about issues that directly affect the young. Topics such as tuition fees, housing, Brexit and immigration are all issues that were discussed and covered at great length throughout recent political events, such as the referendum and the general election. Young people relate to these issues as they directly impact them, whereas in previous years, factors were spoke about that were perhaps unrelatable to millennials.

With generation Y being the first generation to be less successful than our predecessors in terms of earning money, it’s important to get involved in politics and help mould the government that shapes the nation.

Rebecca Reid is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Twitter @Rebecca12reid and on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-reid-64b580153/

What do the UK Grime scene and the Labour Party have in common?

“It’s a Corbyn ting” – Stormzy

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Grime; London’s mash up of UK garage and jungle music. Rapid, syncopated breakbeats featuring jagged electronic sounds, with a gritty lyrical depiction of urban life narrating a grungy beat.

But why, in 2017, did Grime have such an impact on politics?

On 18th April 2017, Teresa May called for a snap election, “to make a success of Brexit.” She confidently did so, with the aim (and expectation) of winning a landslide Tory majority. In fact, she wasn’t alone in her thinking. The early polls indicated that the Tories were leading by 25%. The story of how Labour turned the election around is arguably one of the most astonishing political fightbacks in modern campaigning history.

Ever since I can remember, I have always been interested in politics. My parent’s heads would be fried after any long car journey with me in the back seat. I somehow always managed to annoyingly dominate the conversation and turn it into my own, car-sized version of Stephen Nolan. So, naturally, I find myself fixated on every news outlet, political party broadcast and social media channel during election time.

The UK general election in 2015 saw less than half of under 25s casting their vote. In 2017, however, 64% of registered voters aged 18-24 fulfilled their voting duties, with the highest youth share since 67% voted in 1992. And who or what have we got to thank for this? Schools? Colleges? Parents? Westminster? No… Grime.

The relationship between grime and the government has always been a somewhat trepid one. In a 2003 radio interview, former politician, Kim Howells attempted to ‘slew’ (that’s Grime terminology for insult by the way) the grime scene, branding the artists as, “macho boasting idiots.” Grime artists are not known to publicly advocate for political parties or politicians either.  Skepta (one of Grime’s most influential artists) even raps about his mistrust for the Police and politicians alike in his chart-topping hit, “Shutdown”.

“This ain’t a culture, it’s my religion
God knows I don’t wanna go prison
But if a man wanna try me, trust me listen
Me and my G’s ain’t scared of police
We don’t listen to no politician
Everybody on the same mission”
Skepta.

Grime has somewhat originated from the same people and places government legislation has hit the hardest in its austerity measures over the last ten years: dwindling prospects of owning a home, increased job insecurity, zero-hours contracts, bedroom tax and underfunded schools are just some of the many measures that have drastically impacted upon the British working class. When we look at it like that, David Cameron’s “we are all in this together” campaign now seems completely out of touch with Britain’s current reality.

Growing up surrounded by a musical genre so closely aligned with personal struggle, Grime has been dubbed as a soundtrack to many Brit’s lives. The 2017 election allowed (arguably for the first time ever) people to engage with a political figure whose own values directly replicated their lived experience. Jeremy Corbyn’s understanding of working-class issues and racial oppression struck a chord with many. It wasn’t long until the Labour Party’s PR powerhouse capitalised upon this particular appeal and promoted it to the masses.

It began when a number of Grime artists stirred up a conversation about politics. Stormzy was one of the first artists to publically express an interest in Jeremy Corbyn;

“Young Jeremy, my guy. I dig what he says. I saw some sick picture of him from back in the day when he was campaigning about anti-apartheid and I thought: ‘yeah, I like your energy’…That’s why I like Jeremy: I feel like he gets what the ethnic minorities are going through and the homeless and the working class.”

 After that it was rapper AJ Tracy. He liked what Corbyn had to say so much, he made an appearance in a Labour party video. He spoke about rising house prices, how he’s in serious debt because he chose to study criminology at university, how the NHS is “one of the jewels of the UK” and further contributes to 2017’s rise of ‘Corbyn-mania’ by stating, “It’s a Corbyn ting. Not a Tory ting.”

Next up, one of Grime’s originals, JME, met Corbyn for cosy sit down lunch in London.  Snapchat users seeking the latest updates from JC were greeted with something unexpected;

“It’s JME on Jeremy’s Snapchat and I’m here right now to tell you to register to vote!”

A promotional video released just days later, showed the pair discussing council housing, off-putting university debt, poorer communities and why people should vote labour. JME states that he has never voted in any election and Corbyn attempts to explain the difference he could make if he does this time around. The video portrays Corbyn as being someone young people can trust and (as JME puts it) “it feels like (you’re) out for lunch with (your) mum’s friend.’”

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Grime based pro-Corbyn posters were placed around South London, showcasing artists such as Stormzy trying to persuade the ‘mandem’ to vote;

“The Tories hold Croydon by 165 votes (that’s literally it) – even your dad’s got more Facebook friends. Stormzy says vote Labour! ’”

In the final week of campaigning, the Grime4Corbyn movement was born, in which live music events were held in London and Brighton featuring panel discussions about the links between Grime and Corbyn’s politics.  A website was launched and thousands of young people started posting and sharing Grime4Corbyn content across social media.

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As young leaders and self-proclaimed political role models, the Grime4Corbyn movement was far from a gimmick. I highly doubt that in the run up to the election, Labour sat down and came up with the idea to use Grime music as a means of mass communicating to their selected target audience.

HOWEVER

When a number of artists began to tease the idea that they may have an interest in voting ‘Jezza’, Corbyn’s campaign team capitalised upon this to the extreme. A selection of official and unofficial means of political public relations helped to encourage thousands of young people to vote. Corbyn claims that his success came from purely standing up for what he believes in. He didn’t ask for individual popularity and he certainly did not foresee ‘Corbyn-mania’.

Whilst I do believe this to be somewhat true, I think that the content the Grime scene created for Corbyn’s campaign was PR gold dust for the team behind him. Labour used the content that was already being created, targeted the Grime industry and ultimately reached the demographic and culture their manifesto and party policies directly related to.

Whatever you believe, the snap election brought about a real positive change for engaging youth in politics and enforces the power and persuasion of social media in political influence. After all, as Corbyn says, “political change doesn’t always come from a politician, does it?”

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Hannah Martin is a final year Bsc student in Communication, Advertising and Marketing at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter @HannahMartin596, and Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-martin-b31334112/

Is Queen Elizabeth II the Top PR Official in England?

Queen Elizabeth II is the current Head of State for the United Kingdom, however, she holds no political or executive power in her own government.  The Prime Minister holds the powers of government, while the Queen simply “…undertakes constitutional and representational duties ….”  Therefore, Queen Elizabeth II acts to connect government with its constituents by focusing on “…national identity, unity, and pride….”  With Queen Elizabeth’s success of connection between the two parties, the populous is given “…a sense of stability and continuity.…”  With limitations on the monarch’s power by the Bill of Rights and other legislation post-civil war, the office has evolved over time into one of internal and public relations.

What do her duties entail?

The Queen often travels throughout the Commonwealth, visiting, observing, and listening to Her Majesty’s people, their needs, desires, and opinions.  The Queen recently traveled to West Sussex where Her Majesty visited a charity called Canine Partners, which focuses on canine training for puppies, service animals, and works with other charities. As shown in the picture above, Her Majesty is observing a puppy training class. After which, Her Majesty went to visit Chichester Festival Theatre, which is “…one of the UK’s flagship theatres, renowned for the high standard of its productions as well as its work with the community and young people.”

The Queen contributes, participates, and visits numerous charities, philanthropies, and organizations which help develop, better, and revolutionize the United Kingdom politically, socially, and economically. These duties prescribed to the office of Queen are extremely important to maintain peace, security, normalcy, and tradition.

PR Scandal that affected the Monarchy royally….

The Royal Family is not perfect. They have had several scandals, including divorce, abdication, and treason. They have gracefully, humbly, and successfully recovered from all despite the effects. Former King Edward VIII married an American woman with no title, no money, and no position in society and who was a divorcee. This was viewed as an error in judgment by the King, which would come full circle as it inspired him to abdicate the throne just as tensions were rising in Europe before World War II. As was later discovered, this would not be the only “error in judgment” made by King Edward. After World War II, a series of documents was published proving his relations, support, and actions to be pro-Nazi, pro-Hitler, and pro-Aryan. The Marburg Files would further tarnish the shine of the Crown, with attributes of treason.  Such attributes, however, did not hinder the Royals in their role in the United Kingdom.

Will the Monarchy survive?

Despite the actual importance, the Monarchy of England is viewed as simply an office of service between the government and the people. The Monarch is now a marionette that is used to benefit the Commonwealth and ensure its survival. Additionally, the Queen has successfully conveyed a recent history of prosperity, unity, and peace, which has willed the people of the world to fall in love with the Royal Family and their every move, causing them to be revered more as celebrities than as heads of state. Therefore, I do personally believe that the monarchy will survive if they can continue to deepen, personalize, and romanticize their relations with the public. With their success in this, they will forever rule as the Head of State, Queen/King, and the biggest Public Relations Officer in the United Kingdom.

 

Emily Williard is an exchange student, currently studying public relations at Ulster University, as part of her degree in Public Relations at Appalachian State University in the US. She can be contacted on Instagram at emilee_5 or LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-williard-0196a4151.

Did Donald Trump “Slut-Shame” N.Y. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand?

In another colorful news week, the president was accused of what’s called “slut-shaming” when he fired out a tweet at New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. After tweeting about the president and his shortcomings in a series of multi-day statements, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand implied that the women behind the curtains of Trump’s past sexual assault accusations should come back into the spotlight.

Once Trump, or his team of PR agents, read the series of tweets, President Trump had his own response to send to the senator. In the tweet, Trump states, “Kirsten Gillibrand is someone who would come to my office begging for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them).” Although some Twitter users are stating that one’s mind needs to be “in the gutter” to interpret that tweet sexually, others are arguing it’s a very blatant slut-shaming attack on a high-ranking female political representative in our country today.

Trump’s Accusers

To date, there are 17 different women who have come out and made their case for inappropriate touching and comments made by the past reality television star. Working together to make their voices more nationally heard these women took to Twitter to rally the troops and share their individual stories and encounters with the president. Joining them was Senator Gillibrand, who although she does not have a personal story regarding the president, was passionate about the act of empowerment that was sweeping through the ranks of afflicted women.

In response to Trump’s tweet, Gillibrand stated, “I will not be silenced.” Much like the cases that are going down right now against the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, no one is safe from the accountability that victims are holding their accusers to today. Gillibrand stated she felt that Trump should be no different, as she has held a same standard to President Clinton today, whose accusers are in the dozens.

This past Tuesday, 59 female members of Congress urged the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate misconduct claims against Mr. Trump. Spurred into action by Senator Gillibrand’s public slut-shaming, the people who are demanding social justice are growing in numbers.

Protective PR

However, as we have seen in the case of Hollywood, individuals in the limelight come with a certain protective public relations sphere that keep them from being held truly accountable for what they have done in the past. Since the majority of predators are being exposed in their 60s and 70s, these men have been able to keep their history of sexual assault hushed until today. Arguably known as a protective PR stance, it certainly looks to be the case for the likes of President Trump.

And then there comes the case of slut shaming. Known as the action of stigmatizing a woman for engaging in behavior judged to be promiscuous or sexually provocative, the debate remains regarding the interpretation of Trump’s tweet and its plausibility.

Slut-Shaming

You are probably forming an opinion right now about how you interpreted the tweet and what Trump meant by it. If there’s one thing we need to remember to be fair in assessing the news, it’s that we can’t jump to conclusions with the intonation of his tweet, although acknowledging that it could’ve been malicious in nature. Either way, the war on women continues, and tweets like that from the Commander in Chief to high-ranking officials in our nation sends a bad sign to citizens and most importantly, young girls with hopes and dreams of being respected one day.

Much like Hollywood is doing right now, politics needs to incorporate an element of accountability for past actions committed against women, as well as men. Mr. Weinstein has a list of 50-women and counting, all accusing him of various types of sexual harassment to assault. Leveraging national PR to his aid once more, Mr. Weinstein apologized in a statement that managed to dilute the message and make it more about overreaching actions than his actual intentions and law-breaking behavior.

If we are to prevent this kind of “norm” from happening again, we must hold these individuals to a higher standard. Famous PR protection is something that needs to be monitored more closely. Slut shaming, no matter the intention or deliverer, should never be tolerated, which Congress is taking very seriously right now. As the debate heats up regarding big name offenders in our world today, we are seeing that no one is safe. Protective PR can only go so far when the voices grow in strength and number, and thanks to social media, they are able to do just that today.

As for Trump’s tweet, do you believe he was slut-shaming Senator Gillibrand?

 

Nicole Devlin is a final year Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-devlin-29342364/

 

 

 

Hello? Stormont, are you there?

What really gets me frustrated is the fact that the politicians up in Stormont are not doing their job. There is still no agreement between the parties, we have no First Minister or Deputy First Minister!! There is no one leading our country!!

It confuses me how politicians can surpass deadlines and act like children. If I was to walk into my part-time job and just stand in the one spot all day and do nothing, then when asked by my boss “why am I not working?” and reply with “cause I don’t wanna” (like a child) I would get sanctioned, I wouldn’t receive pay for the day and I would be one step closer to being fired. So why on earth is it ok for politicians (who are supposed to be representing us) to do nothing and still get paid? If you don’t do your job you DON’T GET PAID!

Personally, this is just a recipe for disaster. There is hardly any faith in the parties that represent us as it is and now they are putting more wood to the fire by thinking it is ok to do their own thing. And speaking of “wood to the fire” I think people have forgotten about the huge RHI scandal. The RHI scheme was launched to help businesses in Northern Ireland meet the cost of installing renewable heat technologies, put simply businesses would install heat systems and would receive payment for using a renewable energy, however there was no boundaries on this scheme and businesses decided to abuse this scheme by installing heating systems in empty sheds and having them run 24/7 meaning that they would receive a great deal of money from the government. Once all this scandal was released to the public (and might I add it was a great deal of time later) and research was done to discover what repercussions had taken place it was found that the scheme would cost the taxpayer over £400 million! What gives this scandal more flavour is the fact that our previous first minister Arlene Foster oversaw the whole process and denies any wrong doing!! There has been little action taken against those that abused the scheme and those that let it get this far.NB10

I really think it’s time we put penalties on politicians that do not work and create schemes only to make a quick buck out of their constituents. If we let this continue who knows what will happen in 10 years time. I’m sure other countries that read of our current political situation laugh, they must think we are all thick that we have leaders who care only of themselves and are looking to deepen their own pockets.

Granted not every politician is the same, some are working to do everything they can for us. A recent example would be that of SDLP’s Justin McNulty. Newry & Mourne’s extremely vital hospital Daisy Hill was under threat by the Southern Health Trust, they thought in their great wisdom that since there was a staff shortage in the country that they would cut Daisy Hill’s emergency departments opening hours to 8am to 8pm. To everyone in my area this was the stupidest idea every, people would have to travel to Belfast or Craigavon in an emergency. The Trust had many options and just went with whatever was easiest to them, I’m sure the “big shots” making the decision do not need to worry about healthcare because they have enough money to go private. Thankfully Justin knew how this would cause major problems, he took a stand and fought to keep the hospital running, he did not idly stand by. Justin held a meeting of which 800 people attended and thousands more watched it live on Facebook, he listened to the people and tried his utmost to get everyone united, no matter what party you were Justin encouraged everyone to pitch in. Justin made many journeys to the trust and fought for the people, he did not give up and did not compromise. In the end of his hard battle, the Southern Trust announced the hospital’s emergency department would remain to its usual opening hours and many people are alive and well thanks to Justin’s hard work.NB11

To round this all up, I just want people to realise when voting in the future who the true politicians are, which actually represent the people and want to go to work each morning and make the world a better place and which are running for power, money and their own personal gain.

 

Niall Byrne is a final year BSc in Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be contacted on Twitter @NByrne96