Episode 1 The Top Table


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Episode 1

Young people come to the Top Table in the run-up to the election to face down politicians in a new audience debate show, presented by Stephen Nolan.


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Tonight, half of the entire studio audience is 21 and under.

:00:00.:00:10.

Sitting opposite, our older audience.

:00:11.:00:15.

And at the heart of this show, the top table.

:00:16.:00:43.

On this programme, we really are giving young people priority

:00:44.:00:49.

because that's a voice that is sometimes missing

:00:50.:00:52.

What does a new generation actually want?

:00:53.:00:57.

One half of this entire studio is filled with people aged 21 or under.

:00:58.:01:04.

The other half is older and we've politicians from all five

:01:05.:01:07.

of Northern Ireland's main parties here tonight too.

:01:08.:01:11.

But on this show, and it will always be the same,

:01:12.:01:15.

young people have the seats facing them at the top table.

:01:16.:01:20.

Joining us at the top table tonight...

:01:21.:01:22.

Thomas Copeland, Aoife Hollywood, Jack O'Dwyer-Henry,

:01:23.:01:33.

Right, let's get stuck into the first question.

:01:34.:01:50.

There it is tonight, the first question is about Brexit

:01:51.:01:53.

What's more important to you - living in the UK

:01:54.:01:59.

I'm going to start off just by saying I'd rather live

:02:00.:02:04.

in the world's fifth largest economy than the world's 40th

:02:05.:02:06.

I know that there are ideological reasons why perhaps Ireland should

:02:07.:02:11.

be unified, but I don't want to have to pay 50 euros every time

:02:12.:02:15.

I want to live in a country where the NHS is free on delivery.

:02:16.:02:20.

And as well as that, I think it's very important

:02:21.:02:22.

to stress, let's not pre-empt the results of Brexit.

:02:23.:02:24.

We don't know what's going to happen, and anyone who says

:02:25.:02:27.

they do know what's going to happen after Brexit is lying.

:02:28.:02:29.

You want to run the referendum again, you want a second vote.

:02:30.:02:34.

I want a second vote on the terms of the final deal.

:02:35.:02:40.

So you're not going to accept the referendum result?

:02:41.:02:42.

I want another referendum on the terms of the final deal,

:02:43.:02:46.

and that's so important for Northern Ireland.

:02:47.:02:48.

We are the only place to have a hard border.

:02:49.:02:50.

We need to be able to have another shout out as to

:02:51.:02:53.

I believe passionately in the United Kingdom.

:02:54.:03:01.

It is, as Thomas has said, one of the fastest-growing

:03:02.:03:05.

It is a fact that the Irish Republic does more trade with

:03:06.:03:14.

the United Kingdom than anywhere else in the world so also

:03:15.:03:17.

the Republic is tied in very strongly, in trading terms,

:03:18.:03:21.

And so we need to ensure that we get the best deal possible from Brexit,

:03:22.:03:27.

and that's what we will be seeking to ensure.

:03:28.:03:29.

A second go at it, let's look at the deal first?

:03:30.:03:34.

We elect Members of Parliament and we've got a general election

:03:35.:03:39.

right now and every person here will have a vote,

:03:40.:03:42.

I hope, in that election, and you will elect people to go

:03:43.:03:45.

and represent you and therefore Parliament now has the mandate,

:03:46.:03:48.

and I think it was right for Theresa May to call an election,

:03:49.:03:51.

to seek a mandate to negotiate, and I don't think she has had to go

:03:52.:03:55.

back to have a second referendum because, actually,

:03:56.:03:57.

and this is important, Stephen, it ties her hands,

:03:58.:04:01.

It ties the hand of the Prime Minister, and I think it gives

:04:02.:04:05.

So I think, at this stage, we don't need to have a second referendum.

:04:06.:04:11.

If I had been able to vote, and only 17, I would have voted Remain.

:04:12.:04:16.

Seeing the results of the referendum, I do understand

:04:17.:04:19.

that there needs to be special status for the six counties.

:04:20.:04:23.

What's your stand on that, the special status?

:04:24.:04:26.

I assume the six counties you are referring to is

:04:27.:04:28.

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom

:04:29.:04:38.

and we are the only part of the UK that has a land border with a EU

:04:39.:04:42.

member state, so that's right, we are different from other parts

:04:43.:04:45.

of the UK and there will need to be special arrangements.

:04:46.:04:47.

But here's the challenge and a problem for us.

:04:48.:04:49.

Well, special arrangements because we have a land

:04:50.:04:52.

border and therefore, unlike any other part of the UK...

:04:53.:04:55.

We have a majority that would vote Remain.

:04:56.:04:57.

The United Kingdom held a referendum and the United Kingdom voted

:04:58.:05:02.

to leave, and we have to respect that.

:05:03.:05:05.

A lot of people talk about respect...

:05:06.:05:07.

You have to understand that the six counties is a special...

:05:08.:05:10.

And you have to understand that the six counties that

:05:11.:05:12.

you describe and that I call Northern Ireland is part

:05:13.:05:15.

of the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom of Great Britain

:05:16.:05:17.

and Northern Ireland, and in a referendum held

:05:18.:05:19.

in the United Kingdom, the people voted to leave.

:05:20.:05:24.

Now, we can re-fight that battle is we want,

:05:25.:05:27.

but what we really need to do is negotiate the best deal

:05:28.:05:29.

But here's the amazing thing, Sir Jeffrey.

:05:30.:05:34.

They told us that Brexit would be a panacea, there'd be

:05:35.:05:45.

a new era of progress, and the reality is...

:05:46.:05:47.

It's good to see the DUP immediately...

:05:48.:05:55.

..is diving back to the past and division.

:05:56.:05:59.

But here's the issue of Brexit and why the DUP know

:06:00.:06:02.

they have sold us a pop, because I can't see any young

:06:03.:06:05.

person, when they look at the bounty of Europe,

:06:06.:06:07.

whether it's my children or our grandchildren,

:06:08.:06:09.

that would deny themselves, to cut themselves off

:06:10.:06:13.

You say you can't see any one person.

:06:14.:06:18.

You're looking at one tonight - Calvin.

:06:19.:06:19.

Tell them why you believe that we should be leaving the EU.

:06:20.:06:29.

Well, Stephen, I believe that Northern Ireland, or the UK, sorry,

:06:30.:06:33.

should be free from the EU because we are democrats

:06:34.:06:36.

and the EU is completely and utterly undemocratic.

:06:37.:06:40.

I appreciate that and understand that, but if the majority of people

:06:41.:06:44.

in what you call the UK vote to leave, but the majority

:06:45.:06:47.

The majority of people in Northern Ireland want to remain

:06:48.:06:52.

within the UK so that means that we are part of the UK.

:06:53.:06:55.

The majority of people in Northern Ireland want to remain

:06:56.:06:58.

part of the UK and therefore with the UK-wide vote, so we have

:06:59.:07:01.

The founding agreement of the peace process

:07:02.:07:06.

It talks about the principle of consent.

:07:07.:07:09.

What percentage of people want to remain within the United Kingdom?

:07:10.:07:15.

It's significantly higher than those that want to remain

:07:16.:07:17.

So therefore, the majority of people in Northern Ireland want to be part

:07:18.:07:23.

of the United Kingdom, so therefore we have

:07:24.:07:24.

There may be a unity referendum soon and we'll find out

:07:25.:07:30.

what the percentages are but, in the meantime, Calvin,

:07:31.:07:36.

you're almost saying to me, it doesn't matter how many jobs

:07:37.:07:39.

are lost, how many farmers lose jobs, how much money

:07:40.:07:41.

What about the potential benefits from Brexit?

:07:42.:07:45.

Are you saying it doesn't matter what damage is done to the economy,

:07:46.:07:50.

how it stunts our economic growth, how it cuts us off, how

:07:51.:07:53.

Is that what you're saying, because somebody in Walsall

:07:54.:07:56.

or Bristol or Birmingham, and fair play to them,

:07:57.:07:58.

let them enjoy Brexit, are you saying because they have

:07:59.:08:01.

voted for this in England and Wales, because Scotland didn't,

:08:02.:08:07.

that it doesn't matter what damage it does to the economy

:08:08.:08:10.

Because if you are, that's fair enough.

:08:11.:08:13.

Are you not the same man representing the same party that

:08:14.:08:15.

slammed the EU for imposing austerity on the likes of Greece?

:08:16.:08:18.

I am one and the same and I will be critical of the EU and,

:08:19.:08:24.

unlike anyone else at this table, I have addressed 27 ministers

:08:25.:08:27.

for Europe in Brussels about how best to repair this damage that's

:08:28.:08:30.

I think the more that Jeffrey and the Brexiteers go

:08:31.:08:35.

on about the Democratic mandate and how that justifies

:08:36.:08:37.

leaving the European Union, that's betraying the fact that that

:08:38.:08:41.

argument hasn't actually been one in that there isn't an hasn't been

:08:42.:08:47.

made a compelling case for the benefits of leaving

:08:48.:08:50.

I'm still left completely unconvinced as to why

:08:51.:08:54.

Northern Ireland obviously has voted to remain,

:08:55.:08:58.

but I would like Jeffrey to outline exactly what he thinks will benefit

:08:59.:09:02.

Northern Ireland from leaving the European Union because,

:09:03.:09:05.

as far as I see it, that argument hasn't been effectively made.

:09:06.:09:09.

And Jeffrey, you can pick that up in a second.

:09:10.:09:11.

Where did your party stand on this, by the way?

:09:12.:09:16.

We recognised the democratic will of the United Kingdom

:09:17.:09:23.

We said that we recognised this was a UK-wide vote and the majority

:09:24.:09:30.

of the people of the United Kingdom decided they were willing to leave,

:09:31.:09:33.

and we respected that, and our MPs voted for that in Westminster.

:09:34.:09:36.

But let's be clear, the days of Remainers

:09:37.:09:38.

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.

:09:39.:09:42.

What we need now are 18 MPs sitting on the benches of Westminster,

:09:43.:09:45.

arguing for the best possible deal for everybody in Northern Ireland,

:09:46.:09:49.

and that is how we will get the best result.

:09:50.:09:52.

Aoife, you live on the border, right?

:09:53.:09:53.

I live right beside the border and that's such

:09:54.:09:56.

Girls in my school will have to cross the border every day,

:09:57.:10:03.

Different things, like cost controls.

:10:04.:10:09.

There is a statistic that 3% of the GDP in

:10:10.:10:12.

That's thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs.

:10:13.:10:17.

That was a statistic on the BBC, that 3% of the GDP

:10:18.:10:23.

Before we ever joined the European Union, we had a common

:10:24.:10:34.

The idea that people living in Newry are going

:10:35.:10:38.

to have their lives changed by Brexit in that they are going

:10:39.:10:41.

to be stopped at the border every day is just a myth,

:10:42.:10:44.

Well, how are you going to control immigration?

:10:45.:10:49.

I'm interested that you suggest that someone who travels from Newry

:10:50.:10:52.

to Dundalk and back has to go through immigration.

:10:53.:10:56.

I'm saying that immigrants coming from Dublin, the richest part

:10:57.:11:04.

of the European Union, will have to come through Newry

:11:05.:11:06.

and then they could be going into the British Isles.

:11:07.:11:09.

There's going to have to be some control, and you just can't...

:11:10.:11:13.

Naomi, do you believe there will have to be a border?

:11:14.:11:15.

There will have to be some kind of control, that's obvious,

:11:16.:11:19.

and the reason I say that is because, if you go to any

:11:20.:11:22.

country that has a border, a land border with an EU state,

:11:23.:11:25.

So until somebody shows me an example where there are none,

:11:26.:11:29.

I'm not going to be convinced about this.

:11:30.:11:31.

Well, no, actually, I was in Switzerland last summer,

:11:32.:11:34.

You didn't bring me back a Toblerone!

:11:35.:11:37.

But, honestly, you have to go through, you have to pay,

:11:38.:11:42.

you have to get a vignette for your car when you go

:11:43.:11:45.

You can only work there for so many days of the year before

:11:46.:11:49.

So it's nonsense to say that it's borderless.

:11:50.:11:53.

You go through checkpoints, and this is important, Stephen.

:11:54.:11:56.

All of the people who are saying that there won't be checkpoints

:11:57.:12:00.

can't give you a single concrete example of that because it's fine

:12:01.:12:03.

to talk about the common travel area, but we are now talking

:12:04.:12:06.

about differentiating our immigration and our customs

:12:07.:12:09.

That was never the case before, and that's the fundamental difference.

:12:10.:12:16.

I don't think it's any secret that our party has always been

:12:17.:12:19.

strongly pro-Europe and, actually, was the first

:12:20.:12:21.

party that articulated an argument for special status,

:12:22.:12:23.

call it what you will, but special relationship.

:12:24.:12:25.

A special relationship for Northern Ireland.

:12:26.:12:29.

But Stephen, can I tell you the argument...

:12:30.:12:30.

No, tell me what special status means.

:12:31.:12:32.

It means actually having recognition of the fact

:12:33.:12:34.

that Northern Ireland, the North, the six counties,

:12:35.:12:36.

actually is the only part of these islands which has a land border

:12:37.:12:40.

We've already seen some concessions in terms of if a united Ireland...

:12:41.:12:51.

Would we stay in the EU under the special status?

:12:52.:12:53.

We would be able to stay in the EU, but they should have

:12:54.:12:58.

special measures in terms of support from Europe.

:12:59.:13:02.

We need the imagination and the innovation

:13:03.:13:06.

Well, you will do it because the 28 states will agree to that,

:13:07.:13:13.

You can't have a special status outside the EU.

:13:14.:13:16.

The point I'd just like to make there, in actual fact,

:13:17.:13:18.

individual parts of certain countries couldn't

:13:19.:13:20.

What we are trying to fight for is that we have MPs

:13:21.:13:24.

and we have a strong executive that can deal with the issue

:13:25.:13:27.

of the border, and the reason I think, by the way,

:13:28.:13:30.

Jeffrey, that we should have an independent referendum

:13:31.:13:31.

Tell me about this ruling by know nothing about.

:13:32.:13:41.

It just showed that it was based around Catalonia, and EU said,

:13:42.:13:44.

and Jeffrey, back me up on this, that individual parts of certain

:13:45.:13:47.

countries couldn't seek sincere special status within the EU,

:13:48.:13:51.

and it came out of the fact that Nicola Sturgeon wanted Scotland

:13:52.:13:54.

That's not a complete picture because the kingdom of Denmark makes

:13:55.:13:59.

up the Faroe Islands, Greenland as well as mainland

:14:00.:14:01.

Denmark, and yet the Faroe Islands and Greenland negotiated a Leave

:14:02.:14:04.

while the rest of the kingdom of Denmark remained in,

:14:05.:14:07.

so there are anomalies within the EU.

:14:08.:14:09.

In fact, one of the important things, Stephen, about the EU,

:14:10.:14:12.

if we're going to be honest, one of the really good things

:14:13.:14:15.

about it, is it is innovative, it is flexible and it is creative

:14:16.:14:18.

when it comes to trying to deal with these sorts of issues.

:14:19.:14:21.

I wonder, by the way, does Brexit make a united

:14:22.:14:23.

I think, yes, definitely, because it shows that the people

:14:24.:14:28.

of England and Wales, their priority isn't

:14:29.:14:31.

Northern Ireland and they are capable of making the decision that

:14:32.:14:35.

will negatively affect Northern Ireland in terms

:14:36.:14:38.

of the border, and that's an issue that was never discussed

:14:39.:14:40.

international debate in the UK, and it hasn't been

:14:41.:14:42.

Let's hear what we're saying in the audience tonight.

:14:43.:14:51.

I find it pretty disgusting that in the first five minutes of

:14:52.:14:59.

this show, Brexit has been reduced to a mere green and orange issue

:15:00.:15:02.

yet again by the politicians of this country.

:15:03.:15:04.

The biggest issue that will face this country in 30, 40 years and

:15:05.:15:12.

it's being reduced again to a mere green and orange,

:15:13.:15:15.

So, is there a politician you'd like to speak to

:15:16.:15:20.

I would just put out a general question of how can we face

:15:21.:15:24.

Brexit if we don't even have an Executive in this country?

:15:25.:15:27.

I think what's most worrying about this is that every

:15:28.:15:35.

other part of the British Isles has a paper

:15:36.:15:39.

on response to Brexit except for Northern Ireland because

:15:40.:15:41.

the Executive was never able to put one together.

:15:42.:15:43.

It was a two-page letter written in August and since that,

:15:44.:15:46.

Did Mike and Colin not put anything together?

:15:47.:15:51.

The Ulster Unionist Party produced a paper that was handed over to

:15:52.:15:54.

Theresa May in November, but the fact of the matter is there is no

:15:55.:15:58.

one speaking, as the member of the audience said, for a collective

:15:59.:16:01.

voice for Northern Ireland and that is concerning.

:16:02.:16:02.

The sad reality is the referendum's over, so we have a

:16:03.:16:10.

Conservative Government who will likely have a large majority after

:16:11.:16:12.

this election so the unfortunate thing is that this is

:16:13.:16:15.

Any remainers, the referendum's over.

:16:16.:16:18.

Fight the election on your point, but it's

:16:19.:16:21.

It seems quite clear to me that the DUP

:16:22.:16:30.

clearly haven't thought this through at all.

:16:31.:16:31.

The DUP clearly have jumped on the bandwagon

:16:32.:16:33.

They clearly have ignored the voice of the people of Northern Ireland

:16:34.:16:39.

or the six counties, whatever you want to call it.

:16:40.:16:41.

And the voice of Northern Ireland says,

:16:42.:16:43.

We don't want to join England and Wales.

:16:44.:16:51.

Well, I'm part of the United Kingdom.

:16:52.:16:54.

The name of my party is Democratic Unionist, so

:16:55.:16:57.

This wasn't a Northern Ireland referendum.

:16:58.:17:03.

It was a UK referendum and, by the way,

:17:04.:17:05.

we didn't jump on the bandwagon, we were the only party from Northern

:17:06.:17:08.

Ireland that campaigned for Brexit not just locally, but nationally.

:17:09.:17:10.

I believe passionately that the UK has a bright future outside of

:17:11.:17:15.

And I believe the EU is in serious trouble.

:17:16.:17:20.

You think the EU's in serious trouble?

:17:21.:17:23.

Clearly, we've taken a dip into the darkness here.

:17:24.:17:28.

We don't know what's going to happen after Brexit.

:17:29.:17:30.

Let's go to the older audience tonight as well.

:17:31.:17:33.

I'd just like to call attention to the place here played

:17:34.:17:38.

by Sinn Fein, SDLP and their ideas in Remain.

:17:39.:17:42.

To me, it's pathetic that they tried to use it as a link to

:17:43.:17:46.

try and link to the Irish Republic and unity.

:17:47.:17:49.

And that's really what they're trying to use this as.

:17:50.:17:51.

Brexit's about much more than a united

:17:52.:17:57.

But the problem is, people campaigned

:17:58.:18:02.

for Brexit and those that support it and campaigned

:18:03.:18:04.

They're not able to tell us what it meant.

:18:05.:18:08.

Are you telling me that people were stupid?

:18:09.:18:13.

As simple as that, it doesn't mean that.

:18:14.:18:15.

The Brexit that was voted for is not the Brexit that we are being

:18:16.:18:23.

delivered and that's just a simple fact.

:18:24.:18:25.

The Brexit that was voted for is not what being delivered.

:18:26.:18:29.

With respect, the negotiations haven't even begun.

:18:30.:18:33.

It is true that we do not yet know what the final

:18:34.:18:41.

outcome will be and there's two things that are really important.

:18:42.:18:43.

Number 1 - we need an Executive in Northern Ireland to give us a

:18:44.:18:47.

collective voice to get the best deal.

:18:48.:18:49.

The longer Sinn Fein prevent an Executive...

:18:50.:18:52.

It's two parties, it's not just one party.

:18:53.:18:53.

The longer we will be denied that voice.

:18:54.:18:55.

In the absence of Sinn Fein agreeing to form an Executive,

:18:56.:19:00.

we will have our seats in Westminster and we will be the voice

:19:01.:19:04.

for Northern Ireland unlike Sinn Fein.

:19:05.:19:06.

It's clear to see that the DUP and every other

:19:07.:19:09.

Brexiteer don't really know what's coming out of this.

:19:10.:19:11.

You don't know if there is if there's positives...

:19:12.:19:15.

No, because the negotiations haven't begun.

:19:16.:19:16.

Then you understand people's worries.

:19:17.:19:17.

Why did you leave the EU, why did you vote to leave the EU?

:19:18.:19:30.

I voted to leave the European Union...

:19:31.:19:31.

I voted to leave the European Union because I believe

:19:32.:19:36.

We are subsidising the EU to the tune of billions

:19:37.:19:40.

Hold on a minute. Hold on a minute.

:19:41.:19:45.

Northern Ireland's being subsidised by the UK, not by the EU.

:19:46.:19:48.

It's clear we're talking about, you know, whether it's been

:19:49.:19:51.

about being European, British, Irish or Northern Irish.

:19:52.:19:53.

What is really clear, identity is really, really

:19:54.:19:55.

important here and it's true for people of any age.

:19:56.:19:58.

I've been finding out from kids in Kilkeel who feel

:19:59.:20:01.

really, really strongly about their roots.

:20:02.:20:18.

Why is your culture are so important to you?

:20:19.:20:21.

Republicans just think it's Loyalism, and they don't

:20:22.:20:25.

think it's all about having fun, but it is about having fun.

:20:26.:20:29.

Going out with your friends and parading

:20:30.:20:31.

I would say I'm more involved now that I'm older

:20:32.:20:38.

and can do, like, the likes of lambeg drumming.

:20:39.:20:41.

And I'm parading out tonight for Kilkeel Silver.

:20:42.:20:51.

So are you excited about the 12th of July?

:20:52.:20:53.

It's exciting because there is a lot of people watching you and you

:20:54.:20:57.

just get that happy feeling that you're making people enjoy it.

:20:58.:21:04.

I'm just excited about getting up and

:21:05.:21:06.

going out and parading, listening to all of the different bands.

:21:07.:21:11.

My sister does the flag carrying in it

:21:12.:21:13.

and I love seeing her doing it and my dad

:21:14.:21:16.

was in it for, like, in the bands for years.

:21:17.:21:19.

Do you think that your tradition is under threat?

:21:20.:21:24.

Yeah, you would fight the British again if you lost it, because you're

:21:25.:21:27.

losing your tradition, you're losing your parades and Ulster Scots

:21:28.:21:30.

When you see all the politicians fighting, what do you think?

:21:31.:21:38.

Like, there could be people shooting each other.

:21:39.:21:48.

You're saying they're a bunch of children?

:21:49.:21:51.

They're arguing like a bunch of children.

:21:52.:21:53.

I'm just glad that we've settled it more humanely

:21:54.:21:56.

in the sense that we won't, erm, shoot people any more.

:21:57.:22:01.

They're fighting at the minute, aren't they?

:22:02.:22:03.

And the government of Northern Ireland has fallen.

:22:04.:22:06.

I feel like if they don't get this sorted out soon, Northern

:22:07.:22:11.

Ireland's going to go back to the Republic of Ireland.

:22:12.:22:15.

Are you worried about a united Ireland?

:22:16.:22:17.

Well, I would feel sad because our tradition

:22:18.:22:21.

of Ulster Scots and English have been here for hundreds and hundreds

:22:22.:22:26.

of years and if we just lose it just like that, instantly.

:22:27.:22:35.

Calvin, do you feel your British identity is under threat?

:22:36.:22:39.

In our current climate in Northern Ireland,

:22:40.:22:44.

I do believe that my British identity is under threat.

:22:45.:22:47.

From Sinn Fein and the Republican movement.

:22:48.:22:51.

For example, I'm from the Orange tradition and

:22:52.:22:55.

parading is something that Sinn Fein have targeted.

:22:56.:23:00.

And, for me, you know, they're undermining.

:23:01.:23:04.

That's an example of where they're trying to

:23:05.:23:07.

Well, what would you like to come and visit me

:23:08.:23:18.

in my constituency tomorrow and discuss this?

:23:19.:23:21.

My constituency is in an area where there is a very

:23:22.:23:24.

contentious parade and it's led to a lot of division in the area and

:23:25.:23:27.

there still are divisions around Orange parading in South Belfast.

:23:28.:23:30.

I have constituents who vote for me, for

:23:31.:23:33.

example, who have visited the

:23:34.:23:34.

Orange Hall on the Armour Road as part of a lengthy engagement of

:23:35.:23:39.

He's talking about more than a march, isn't he?

:23:40.:23:43.

Yeah, but I think the first step is dialogue.

:23:44.:23:46.

Would you be interested in having that dialogue?

:23:47.:23:48.

I'm happy to go along and find out more

:23:49.:23:52.

Well, I can see what you're trying to do.

:23:53.:23:55.

Because you know rightly I'll say that no, I don't want to

:23:56.:24:01.

Because you're is part of a party that's completely and utterly

:24:02.:24:06.

opposed to my right to march down a road.

:24:07.:24:08.

But I'm not, I actually want to celebrate

:24:09.:24:15.

You're completely and utterly trying to undermine my

:24:16.:24:20.

culture and this is something that your party in particular is

:24:21.:24:23.

How about you come with me to an Orange parade?

:24:24.:24:29.

When I was Lord Mayor, I opened City Hall and allowed the

:24:30.:24:37.

As the Lord Mayor, I was the only one who had

:24:38.:24:47.

the ability to allow the orders to come into and use a room in City

:24:48.:24:50.

There are big issues and where there is an Orange

:24:51.:24:55.

There are ways that orange parades are used to try

:24:56.:25:00.

It's important that we move away from that and I

:25:01.:25:04.

invite you to move away from that with me.

:25:05.:25:06.

And your party is fully intent on making it a divisive issue.

:25:07.:25:12.

I think there's about six parades which are

:25:13.:25:14.

still in dispute and every one of those local residents want to speak

:25:15.:25:17.

I just want to ask a question I wanted to ask earlier

:25:18.:25:24.

Does your party want Brexit to work in Northern Ireland?

:25:25.:25:27.

Because it is an interesting question.

:25:28.:25:29.

If Brexit doesn't work, that's the door open

:25:30.:25:30.

Well, it's interesting because that's the question that...

:25:31.:25:35.

Actually, the way to ensure that Brexit

:25:36.:25:43.

doesn't utterly destroyed the economy here

:25:44.:25:45.

and doesn't destroy the peace process is to make sure

:25:46.:25:47.

that the Irish Government has the final

:25:48.:25:49.

say in what the settlement is for Northern Ireland

:25:50.:25:52.

and if they can get what the Spanish have for Gibraltar

:25:53.:25:55.

which is there can be no settlement in relation

:25:56.:25:57.

to Gibraltar until the Spanish...

:25:58.:25:59.

The Spanish and the British Government agree, then you can get

:26:00.:26:03.

For me, Brexit can't work and Jeffrey won't

:26:04.:26:06.

give us a guarantee that no jobs will be lost.

:26:07.:26:09.

They won't give us a guarantee that none of the Polish

:26:10.:26:11.

people or Lithuanian people, maybe some in this audience, won't be

:26:12.:26:14.

And those are the guarantees that we need.

:26:15.:26:17.

I mean, you're talking about the issue of the Irish Government

:26:18.:26:20.

coming in and taking control of this.

:26:21.:26:22.

Do the Irish people want Northern Ireland as part

:26:23.:26:24.

We have a ?9.6 billion deficit with Westminster.

:26:25.:26:27.

They do not want us because they cannot afford

:26:28.:26:30.

When Germany was reunified, the West Germans were in outrage of the

:26:31.:26:34.

fact that they had their taxes shot up all for some idea that Germany

:26:35.:26:37.

It is better for the people of Northern Ireland,

:26:38.:26:41.

economicallly, to remain within the UK.

:26:42.:26:42.

German unification seems to be going pretty well, Thomas.

:26:43.:26:50.

And you can see, by the way, the table's

:26:51.:26:55.

telling us we've very little time left for this debate.

:26:56.:26:57.

We don't know what's going to happen after Brexit.

:26:58.:27:01.

Maybe a united Ireland would suit us better after Brexit.

:27:02.:27:03.

If Brexit doesn't work, the door is open for us.

:27:04.:27:07.

Brexit is a leap into the dark and...

:27:08.:27:13.

It's actually the world's sixth largest economy, thanks to Brexit.

:27:14.:27:19.

It was the fifth largest and it has dropped back from there.

:27:20.:27:22.

Very quickly, we're running out of time.

:27:23.:27:24.

If I said to you there are far more countries outside the EU than there

:27:25.:27:28.

are inside the EU, and all of the other countries in the world,

:27:29.:27:31.

AOIFE: But they're not coming out of something...

:27:32.:27:35.

They weren't in the European Union to

:27:36.:27:38.

We don't know what is going to happen.

:27:39.:27:42.

We are not sure by whatever, we don't know what is happening.

:27:43.:27:47.

We're out of time, we're out of time.

:27:48.:27:56.

There's a new age of politics in Northern Ireland.

:27:57.:28:00.

If you are 21 or under and if you think you deserve a seat at

:28:01.:28:04.

Right, let's look at our next question.

:28:05.:28:20.

Do we need an Irish Language Act in Northern Ireland?

:28:21.:28:24.

Yes, we deserve one and there's no reason

:28:25.:28:28.

What an Irish Language Act going to give you?

:28:29.:28:38.

No, no, it will give legal defences as well,

:28:39.:28:44.

And I'm looking at you, Jeffrey, because,

:28:45.:28:51.

Well, now they love Irish all of a sudden.

:28:52.:28:56.

But I want to ask you, first I want to ask you a question,

:28:57.:29:01.

why do you oppose of and Irish Language Act?

:29:02.:29:03.

Absolutely not scared of the Irish language.

:29:04.:29:06.

I fully respect that there are many people here in

:29:07.:29:10.

Northern Ireland and elsewhere who value the Irish language and I want

:29:11.:29:15.

to see their rights to speak the Irish language encouraged

:29:16.:29:20.

and supported and, of course, we will look at what that

:29:21.:29:25.

But not just on the Irish language, because, of course, there are many

:29:26.:29:30.

other cultural expressions and, Stephen, you heard from the young

:29:31.:29:32.

That's where I grew up, and there's a thriving Ulster Scots

:29:33.:29:37.

But, you know, they're not getting the level

:29:38.:29:44.

of support that the Irish language is getting.

:29:45.:29:45.

I listened carefully to what Jeffrey was saying about supporting

:29:46.:29:51.

an Irish Language Act yet it was Paul Givan,

:29:52.:29:53.

almost pulled the whole house down single-handedly by taking away

:29:54.:29:56.

a small pot of money for Gaeltalk users.

:29:57.:29:59.

He took that away and put it back in and then found hundreds

:30:00.:30:04.

of thousands of pounds for Orange halls.

:30:05.:30:17.

But, Dolores, in the last five years, and let's

:30:18.:30:19.

be clear about this, ?171 million has been put

:30:20.:30:21.

towards the Irish language in Northern Ireland.

:30:22.:30:29.

What would an Irish language act actually deliver

:30:30.:30:31.

First off, it would honour the commitments under

:30:32.:30:35.

the Good Friday Agreement and St Andrew's.

:30:36.:30:39.

That's the start that honour the commitments about equality.

:30:40.:30:44.

Tell me practically what it would guarantee.

:30:45.:30:52.

Irish speakers would have their rights across all public

:30:53.:30:54.

sector organisations to have their cases heard

:30:55.:30:55.

It's actually much more emotional, I believe, than terms...

:30:56.:30:59.

So if they walked into any public establishment,

:31:00.:31:01.

there would have to be someone behind the counter...

:31:02.:31:03.

The Welsh have an act and the Scottish Parliament

:31:04.:31:07.

has an act and I think what we need to do...

:31:08.:31:10.

They are not guaranteed that there would be answered in Irish,

:31:11.:31:14.

Would the Irish language act guarantee?

:31:15.:31:17.

It's about recognising the rights and the equality of Irish speakers.

:31:18.:31:19.

It would guarantee that the Irish language was protected in law.

:31:20.:31:26.

Well, there are debates around whether people want to have native

:31:27.:31:34.

Irish speakers whose first language is Irish, that they can communicate

:31:35.:31:36.

in the language of their choice, that's what it means.

:31:37.:31:43.

I just wanted to raise a point here that, when we have an NHS

:31:44.:31:47.

that's closing A up at Daisy Hill, an education budget

:31:48.:31:49.

that's slipping by 2.5%, I'd love to learn Irish,

:31:50.:31:51.

it's a lovely language, but, when we have an education system

:31:52.:31:54.

that's collapsing and an NHS that's collapsing, can we afford

:31:55.:31:57.

First of all, no one's ever told me what it's going to cost,

:31:58.:32:06.

so you hear figures ranging from ?2 million to ?20 million.

:32:07.:32:08.

First of all, I have complete respect for the Irish language.

:32:09.:32:11.

It is the language shared by both cultures in Northern Ireland.

:32:12.:32:14.

The motto of the Royal Irish Regiment is in Irish.

:32:15.:32:16.

In fact, it was the Presbyterians that actually protected it

:32:17.:32:19.

Do you think Katie-Rose should have an Irish language act

:32:20.:32:23.

People say that they want an Irish language act,

:32:24.:32:29.

but give us the act and we'll tell you what we want and it.

:32:30.:32:32.

The initial drafts that is all for it had High Commissioner

:32:33.:32:35.

with powers of a High Court judge who could hound people out for not

:32:36.:32:38.

respecting language, various other things,

:32:39.:32:41.

and positive discrimination to highlight 100% of the public

:32:42.:32:44.

sector workers who should be speaking Irish.

:32:45.:32:47.

I don't know what's going to be in this act.

:32:48.:32:49.

I want to be able to go into court and speak Irish,

:32:50.:32:57.

I want to live my life through Irish.

:32:58.:32:59.

The Irish language is of equal importance in the North, in Ireland,

:33:00.:33:08.

Instead of firing back figures and numbers and now this,

:33:09.:33:18.

I want to tell you, as a 17-year-old who has grown up in the Irish

:33:19.:33:21.

language, most of my life is through the Irish language.

:33:22.:33:24.

See the kids, the hundreds of kids, going through Irish medium schools?

:33:25.:33:27.

They don't care about how much an Irish language is going to cost.

:33:28.:33:30.

They just realise that they are being discriminated

:33:31.:33:32.

Irish language rights are human rights.

:33:33.:33:44.

There are a couple of reasons why I would oppose an Irish language act.

:33:45.:33:54.

For me, the Irish language has been something that has been politicised

:33:55.:33:58.

by Sinn Fein. And this act would be used to make those with the British

:33:59.:34:10.

background to feel isolated and foreigners. The Irish language

:34:11.:34:12.

brings with it a culture that everyone can be a part of. The

:34:13.:34:18.

second reason why I do not want an Irish language act is it is not

:34:19.:34:22.

practical. In Irish language act would be firstly for Irish speakers

:34:23.:34:27.

because things like signage and documentation. Let me finish.

:34:28.:34:42.

Signage and documentation. Someone who speaks Irish as a second

:34:43.:34:46.

language or read English first there for the Irish language act is 0.24%

:34:47.:34:55.

of the population. Leffler respond to you. It is much more than

:34:56.:35:08.

signage. If you keep reverting back to the green and orange situation,

:35:09.:35:11.

it has such a unifying quality, it brings people from all different

:35:12.:35:18.

backgrounds together. This is from the latest census. The percentage of

:35:19.:35:21.

people whose main language is Irish, 0.24%. That was the figures from the

:35:22.:35:39.

senseless. In terms of the Irish language at, you supported, so there

:35:40.:35:44.

would be in it? We are talking about that problem that people are

:35:45.:35:57.

dismissing an Irish language act without looking at what it might

:35:58.:35:59.

contain. This is not a blank cheque. There are pressures in terms of

:36:00.:36:02.

public services and finances. One of the things we would like to see

:36:03.:36:09.

Festival is protection for the language and so we do not end up

:36:10.:36:12.

with the farcical situation where we are dependent on the Minister in the

:36:13.:36:14.

department. You either had headed paper or ministers seeking out votes

:36:15.:36:22.

to spray paint and replaced with another. Protection so you have a

:36:23.:36:27.

scheme... Spell out. I am trying. There needs to be a consistent

:36:28.:36:32.

approach in every department as to how it deals with the Irish

:36:33.:36:37.

language, the example within the civil service, or departments would

:36:38.:36:41.

have a consistent policy that would be governed by a scheme. I still do

:36:42.:36:50.

not know what you would guarantee. The commissions themselves should

:36:51.:36:52.

not have the rule that you have described. So would every public

:36:53.:36:57.

document need to be in both languages? No, it wouldn't. Not

:36:58.:37:03.

every public document is subject to FOIA. You have the right to opt out

:37:04.:37:13.

and allow the individual to pay for it. At the moment, it is difficult

:37:14.:37:17.

to come to a position. On the Irish language act, as there has not been

:37:18.:37:22.

an act all though published, but I do not have an objection to it

:37:23.:37:27.

because it makes sense that the language of the island should be

:37:28.:37:30.

given some sort of legislative protection.

:37:31.:37:41.

Saying it is a massive executive financial burden is... What about

:37:42.:37:52.

the hundreds of millions the DUP squandered? Responsible public

:37:53.:38:02.

spending, Geoffrey! Those costs have been capped in relation to the RHI.

:38:03.:38:09.

And they will be capped going forward, Stephen. Definitely?

:38:10.:38:17.

Absolutely. The point I'm making is this, you are suggesting at the

:38:18.:38:20.

moment that nothing is being done for the Irish language. Despite the

:38:21.:38:30.

fact that less than 1% of the population of this country have

:38:31.:38:33.

Irish is the best language, we have Irish language schools... One at a

:38:34.:38:43.

time, please. Let him respond to that point. We may have provisions

:38:44.:38:53.

for Irish speakers at the moment but we also have a First Minister who

:38:54.:38:56.

prepares the Irish speakers as crocodiles. There is clearly a lack

:38:57.:39:03.

of respect. With respect, the First Minister did not describe Irish

:39:04.:39:09.

language speakers as crocodiles, she said Sinn Fein. You have got to let

:39:10.:39:23.

me to read this. Katy Rose was a more eloquent spokesperson. I

:39:24.:39:27.

believe in a society which would welcome an Irish language act.

:39:28.:39:34.

Arlene Foster has made a promise, I will never have an Irish language

:39:35.:39:41.

act. She may not, but there will be an Irish language act. We will make

:39:42.:39:45.

sure that this treasure can be shared with everyone. It will work

:39:46.:39:52.

as it does in Scotland and Wales. Not every government department will

:39:53.:39:56.

be translated into Irish but you will have the right to deal with it.

:39:57.:40:03.

One last point, please. You can come back in the second, I promise. That

:40:04.:40:11.

is a promise. Although some people dismiss Irish as a minority

:40:12.:40:17.

language, it is incredibly important to some people, and there is a new

:40:18.:40:23.

young generation of Irish speakers, let's have a look at them.

:40:24.:40:35.

I am opted to find out what is so important about the Irish language.

:40:36.:40:43.

Why do you deserve it? It is people's writes. People say right so

:40:44.:40:50.

the time, writes about what? It is you human rights to speak whatever

:40:51.:40:57.

language you want. It will be featured in the movie and no one

:40:58.:41:00.

will know what it was going on about. Having a government in

:41:01.:41:04.

Northern Ireland, is that not one potent than you Irish language act?

:41:05.:41:15.

Having a government is also important, but they should be

:41:16.:41:17.

treating us as they treat every other person who speaks English.

:41:18.:41:22.

They found the money for the scoundrel, but yet they cannot put

:41:23.:41:29.

money towards an Irish language act. We want equal

:41:30.:41:41.

rights for everyone, but we will start with us because this is our

:41:42.:41:45.

country. You are angry, aren't you? Who isn't? Legislator Eileen Foster?

:41:46.:41:47.

The statement about the crocodiles made us more angry. She has not

:41:48.:41:57.

given us what we wanted in the first place, the Irish language act. When

:41:58.:41:59.

she said crocodiles, what did that mean to you? That she thinks of us

:42:00.:42:06.

as animals. An Irish language act is very important to us. We just want

:42:07.:42:12.

what they had been promising for ages, equality and Irish language

:42:13.:42:25.

rights. Have you heard enough? People should respect us no matter

:42:26.:42:27.

what our age because we still have human rights. We had more meaningful

:42:28.:42:30.

things to say the most adults! Do you reckon? I think we should give

:42:31.:42:37.

them a round of applause. That is for the kids and the other kids. We

:42:38.:42:44.

mean it when we say we will reach out to young people of all ages and

:42:45.:42:47.

try to bring them in to this BBC programme and once again we

:42:48.:42:53.

appreciate everyone in this studio and everyone watching tonight. Let's

:42:54.:42:55.

empower young people to have a voice. John, when you hear that

:42:56.:43:02.

authentic voice, the 12, 13, are telling them there anything that is

:43:03.:43:09.

called an Irish language act is unacceptable to your party? No, I'm

:43:10.:43:19.

saying it would be nice to know what would be in the act and what we have

:43:20.:43:22.

seen up until now is guesswork. Nothing has been put forward. The

:43:23.:43:25.

idea there would be a High Commissioner that would conduct

:43:26.:43:35.

which an stop... The Commissioner Rob... We need to take decisions.

:43:36.:43:38.

And the problem is we are rubbish at taking decisions. There are all

:43:39.:43:44.

sorts of options. The Commissioner is there to give advice and guidance

:43:45.:43:51.

to help them engage in people who want to speak and Irish, but what

:43:52.:43:55.

Calvert said is important. Here he sees this as an attack on culture,

:43:56.:44:03.

but shouldn't be. In Belfast, where they originally opened that orange

:44:04.:44:08.

for, many members spoken Irish. It was part of parcel of a shared

:44:09.:44:13.

culture. We should embrace and celebrate it. Beside the place where

:44:14.:44:26.

I live, there is an Orange Hall. The Irish language was there before. We

:44:27.:44:38.

are allowing them to embrace it. I do not see what the problem is. The

:44:39.:44:41.

foundations of the Irish language was promised in the Good Friday

:44:42.:44:42.

Agreement but we do not have that. The Department of Finance

:44:43.:44:45.

figures, 3.5 million. If Jonathan speaks

:44:46.:44:52.

to his negotiators... No, no, across all Government,

:44:53.:44:55.

not one department. Well, the Department

:44:56.:44:57.

of Finance figures are In Scotland, it cost 5 million

:44:58.:45:00.

and 3 million of that goes That includes Government departments

:45:01.:45:06.

and we believe that local Government In Scotland, much of

:45:07.:45:12.

the money goes towards Are you telling that young

:45:13.:45:22.

man his figures are wrong? Well, you don't

:45:23.:45:25.

understand the figures. Do you want to

:45:26.:45:26.

patronise him any more? Do you want to

:45:27.:45:29.

respond to that yourself? There is a politician

:45:30.:45:34.

sitting there you don't understand. You're saying it's only

:45:35.:45:36.

going to cost 2.5 million? I mean, the Gael League

:45:37.:45:39.

came out and said that over the next five years, it

:45:40.:45:41.

was going to cost 19 million and I, personally, think that

:45:42.:45:45.

that underestimating it. Well, you should join

:45:46.:45:46.

the talks because the UUP and DUP have been at the talks and the

:45:47.:45:52.

figures at the talks and the most cogent figure is the nationwide

:45:53.:45:55.

organisation which has presented its They say it will cost

:45:56.:45:58.

2.5 million a year. So are you making

:45:59.:46:01.

a commitment on behalf of Sinn Fein tonight that

:46:02.:46:03.

you don't want any funding Because what I actually

:46:04.:46:05.

said was that the Department of Finance

:46:06.:46:11.

estimate was 3.5 million. So why would you want more than that

:46:12.:46:13.

if you're standing by the figure and telling

:46:14.:46:18.

him he's wrong? Well, he's wrong in his

:46:19.:46:19.

estimate of Scotland. What I am saying is

:46:20.:46:21.

that the estimate that I think is an accurate estimate is no

:46:22.:46:23.

more than 3.5 million All right, listen, loads of people

:46:24.:46:26.

in the audience tonight... No, let's go into the younger

:46:27.:46:30.

audience tonight again. And we'll go to

:46:31.:46:33.

the young lady in the We live in a culture

:46:34.:46:35.

of fear and I'm putting it to all of you that there is no

:46:36.:46:42.

big scary monster against your Irish language in the same way

:46:43.:46:45.

there is no big scary monster against your British

:46:46.:46:48.

identity. So, why do you need to pack money

:46:49.:46:49.

into your Irish Language Act or pack money into your parades

:46:50.:46:52.

instead of investing it in more an Irish Language Act,

:46:53.:46:55.

I've made that very clear. You can't compare an Irish Language

:46:56.:47:04.

Act to the parades, I'm sorry. Stay with this, stay

:47:05.:47:07.

with the young lady here. Where is the parading organisations

:47:08.:47:13.

looking for funding? Well, they've had

:47:14.:47:15.

money all those years. I'm not putting the Irish

:47:16.:47:16.

language and parades on the same level, I'm just saying

:47:17.:47:21.

they're both about identity and they both seem to be all our people and

:47:22.:47:24.

all our Government care about when they should care about far

:47:25.:47:27.

more important things. We were promised

:47:28.:47:29.

an Irish Language Act. I want to know where

:47:30.:47:36.

the money has went for that. I want to know why our

:47:37.:47:38.

culture is being used as a weapon by all parties,

:47:39.:47:41.

not just green and orange. It's being used as a weapon

:47:42.:47:43.

and it's being undermined. Dolores Kelly, is there not better

:47:44.:47:46.

things in Northern Ireland in terms of priority to spend

:47:47.:47:49.

whatever money we've got? If we think about the health

:47:50.:47:51.

service, if we think about the education of our kids

:47:52.:47:54.

and roads, do we really And you're talking about

:47:55.:47:57.

the Irish Language Act That doesn't get you

:47:58.:48:01.

out of the question. I'm not getting out

:48:02.:48:07.

of the question, Stephen. I actually do believe it's important

:48:08.:48:11.

for Northern Ireland to move forward, to actually recognise

:48:12.:48:13.

our shared history and future. Do you agree with the

:48:14.:48:16.

3.5 million figure? You see, Stephen, we cannot set

:48:17.:48:23.

a figure on it because the Irish Language Act is part

:48:24.:48:27.

of the talks and part of the talks will actually hopefully come

:48:28.:48:31.

to an agreement about what

:48:32.:48:33.

an Irish Language Act is. The talks have been

:48:34.:48:34.

going on for ages. To just come back on what you said

:48:35.:48:36.

about the division. See here especially,

:48:37.:48:46.

as you all are aware, Irish language speakers

:48:47.:48:48.

are entitled to health care and we do use schools and we do

:48:49.:48:55.

use education, like. So the Irish language is away

:48:56.:48:57.

way of uniting people. Once we get past that,

:48:58.:49:03.

then we can start to move forward. I know Jeffrey earlier

:49:04.:49:06.

was saying that due to The reason we have no Government is

:49:07.:49:14.

because of the absence of respect. The arguments that

:49:15.:49:19.

we're getting here about the money is a false argument

:49:20.:49:24.

because we don't have the content agreed so you can't budget

:49:25.:49:27.

until you have the content agreed. And the second thing

:49:28.:49:30.

is, in City Hall last week, there was an agreement made

:49:31.:49:32.

that there would be an Irish It's going to cost

:49:33.:49:35.

a maximum of ?18,000. The other half was going to be paid

:49:36.:49:38.

by Foras na Gaeilge. There was going to be money

:49:39.:49:41.

invested in the Ulster Scots language and there was going to be

:49:42.:49:43.

money given to newcomer languages... Unionists voted

:49:44.:49:46.

against it, all of them. It was ?18,000 maximum spend

:49:47.:49:52.

in a council with a huge budget. They voted against it

:49:53.:49:54.

not because of money, but because they will not allow

:49:55.:49:59.

this to move forward. We're great at putting forward

:50:00.:50:01.

the problems, The Irish Language Act

:50:02.:50:07.

is a solution, Calvin! Why not try to benefit

:50:08.:50:11.

as many people in society? Why not include things

:50:12.:50:19.

like Ulster Scots, Irish and parading so that we open it up

:50:20.:50:22.

to as many people as possible? We can deal with those

:50:23.:50:26.

things, Calvin. You talk about respect

:50:27.:50:29.

and equality... Why do they have a Gaelic

:50:30.:50:31.

language act in Scotland? Let's see where you want to see

:50:32.:50:33.

Ulster Scots and parading. We're out of time.

:50:34.:50:36.

We're out of time. If you are 21 or under

:50:37.:50:49.

and want to have the biggest voice in

:50:50.:50:55.

the country, apply now. Right, let's have a look

:50:56.:50:59.

at our last question tonight. Does Northern Ireland need

:51:00.:51:08.

to stop living in the past? Listen, the amount of money that

:51:09.:51:16.

goes into investigations We can't move forward

:51:17.:51:20.

with our future until we look at the past

:51:21.:51:25.

and I think it's important. What you see this argument,

:51:26.:51:27.

particularly coming from a more traditional side,

:51:28.:51:29.

is that they say there is some kind When there are laws such

:51:30.:51:32.

as their were during Bloody Sunday, we have

:51:33.:51:35.

to investigate them. The Saville Inquiry

:51:36.:51:37.

was a justified spending of money to prove that there

:51:38.:51:39.

was misconduct on the part of the British Army and collusion

:51:40.:51:42.

within the British Government and it's right

:51:43.:51:44.

that we look back at the past because unless we fix and look

:51:45.:51:46.

at where the blame lies in the past, Thomas, I absolutely

:51:47.:51:49.

agree with you that you cannot dispense

:51:50.:51:54.

with justice and we have to look at this

:51:55.:51:57.

over a time period and try and then, after we've done that,

:51:58.:52:00.

to move Northern Ireland forward. But what I would say

:52:01.:52:03.

to you is this - there are over 3000 unsolved killings

:52:04.:52:06.

in Northern Ireland. At the moment, it is undeniable

:52:07.:52:09.

that the focus is on a small number of those killings,

:52:10.:52:13.

mainly by the state. Despite the fact that

:52:14.:52:17.

the state were responsible for less than 10% of all deaths

:52:18.:52:19.

during the Troubles. The problem I have,

:52:20.:52:23.

Thomas, is that I have constituents, The problem I have,

:52:24.:52:26.

people who lost loved ones, who have been waiting

:52:27.:52:27.

for decades. Decades for justice, for someone

:52:28.:52:29.

to investigate the murder of their loved one and there

:52:30.:52:35.

But why did the DUP block 56 cases going to

:52:36.:52:40.

be investigated that would have got justice...

:52:41.:52:42.

You did last year. You did last year.

:52:43.:52:48.

The DUP, as I understand it, at the Executive blocked the

:52:49.:52:53.

So how is that going to get justice for the people?

:52:54.:52:57.

And those people have been waiting 45 years and more for

:52:58.:53:02.

Because, Aoife, I do not believe there should be a

:53:03.:53:06.

And therefore, I'm not prepared to see a

:53:07.:53:09.

small number of cases given priority and priority funding whilst

:53:10.:53:14.

thousands of families are waiting for the opportunity.

:53:15.:53:19.

But we're going to have to start somewhere to move

:53:20.:53:21.

We're to start somewhere to move on together in a society.

:53:22.:53:27.

We can't have this orange and green all the time.

:53:28.:53:29.

Well, how about starting with the IRA and what they did,

:53:30.:53:32.

Well, what about the British Government collusion as well?

:53:33.:53:35.

They murdered more people than anybody else.

:53:36.:53:37.

We have to accept both sides did have their runs.

:53:38.:53:41.

There is an old saying, an old proverb, that who

:53:42.:53:49.

ever forget the past is blind in one eye.

:53:50.:53:51.

Whoever focuses on it totally is blind in both and I think that's

:53:52.:53:54.

totally prevalent when it comes to Northern Ireland.

:53:55.:53:56.

The legacy issues are for everyone to see.

:53:57.:53:59.

We have the worst mental health in the entirety

:54:00.:54:02.

of the British Isles because of the issues that we have.

:54:03.:54:04.

We have victims, tens of thousands of

:54:05.:54:06.

victims, from the Troubles and we can't forget about that.

:54:07.:54:08.

But, John, are we giving victims false hope because

:54:09.:54:12.

there's very little chance of prosecutions

:54:13.:54:13.

because the evidence is gone.

:54:14.:54:14.

We see time and time again that evidence can come to light.

:54:15.:54:18.

If victims want hope, there is an opportunity.

:54:19.:54:20.

Why close all the I do think what is frustrating, as Jeffrey

:54:21.:54:26.

highlighted, less than 10% of all the killings in the Troubles were

:54:27.:54:29.

committed by state forces, yet they account for 70% of all of the

:54:30.:54:32.

It feels at times but there is a victim...

:54:33.:54:35.

Do you really think, Dolores, that everybody's

:54:36.:54:37.

I mean, I see too many vested interests around the table

:54:38.:54:43.

from former paramilitaries and from the British Government in terms of

:54:44.:54:47.

I don't think the process is doomed, but I do believe

:54:48.:54:52.

that commitments were made to victims and survivors back in 1998,

:54:53.:54:57.

especially when prisoners were released and, in fact,

:54:58.:55:00.

that anybody who would be subsequently prosecuted

:55:01.:55:03.

would only serve a maximum of two years.

:55:04.:55:05.

I do think many victims, and I speak to many of the individuals

:55:06.:55:08.

and organisations recognise that they're not likely to get justice,

:55:09.:55:12.

And there is a wailing cry for the truth

:55:13.:55:15.

But you don't think they'll get the truth.

:55:16.:55:18.

Well, I don't think they'll get the whole

:55:19.:55:20.

I do wonder whether they'll get the name

:55:21.:55:23.

of the person who pulled the trigger or the name of the people...

:55:24.:55:27.

You know, I think they'll get some truth

:55:28.:55:28.

around who was responsible and the organisation...

:55:29.:55:30.

What's the point of getting the information if its not

:55:31.:55:33.

It is important, because the truth...

:55:34.:55:35.

You just said you don't think we'll get the truth.

:55:36.:55:37.

Well, you asked me a straightforward question,

:55:38.:55:39.

I'm asking you a straightforward follow-up question!

:55:40.:55:43.

I'm telling you, there's a lot of vested interests.

:55:44.:55:45.

We've already seen the defence committee at Westminster

:55:46.:55:47.

In response to what Jeffrey was saying, I think it is of vital

:55:48.:55:54.

importance that we get to the truth of, you know,

:55:55.:55:57.

all of the killings, but especially those committed by

:55:58.:55:59.

the state because I think there's a principle

:56:00.:56:02.

at stake for the health of our democracy

:56:03.:56:04.

that we need to know exactly what the state did in terms

:56:05.:56:11.

of its murders, be they in incidents like Bloody Sunday or or

:56:12.:56:14.

in terms of their collaboration with terrorist organisations.

:56:15.:56:16.

Naomi, our state killings more important to be

:56:17.:56:17.

I think that they have to be investigated on

:56:18.:56:21.

exactly the same basis and help to the same

:56:22.:56:23.

I think we expect more from the state than

:56:24.:56:26.

we expect from paramilitaries who, obviously, set out to break the law

:56:27.:56:29.

We expect those who are there to enforce the law to hold themselves

:56:30.:56:33.

The important thing about this, Stephen, is there

:56:34.:56:36.

is a difference between dealing with the past and is living in the past

:56:37.:56:40.

and what we have to decide as a society is when we are going

:56:41.:56:43.

to deal with the past in a way that allows us

:56:44.:56:46.

to live in the present and look to the future.

:56:47.:56:48.

If we don't do it now, we are offering victims false hope.

:56:49.:56:53.

OK, let me go to our older audience this evening.

:56:54.:56:55.

Let's get the lights up on the older audience here and we'll see...

:56:56.:57:01.

My name is Sean, my father was murdered along with ten other

:57:02.:57:09.

Jeffrey has based a campaign for ex-feds to be given an

:57:10.:57:16.

immunity, an amnesty for breaking the law.

:57:17.:57:20.

As Jeffrey know, he was an ex-serviceman himself,

:57:21.:57:23.

who looked down the barrel of a gun, you make a decision yourself.

:57:24.:57:26.

There is no way of saying that it was a moment of madness...

:57:27.:57:31.

My question is why would you want somebody who wears a uniform

:57:32.:57:37.

to get amnesty but you still call for other people who were

:57:38.:57:42.

involved in the Troubles to be jailed?

:57:43.:57:46.

Well, we're not calling for an amnesty.

:57:47.:57:50.

What we have said is that in those cases

:57:51.:57:54.

where investigations have taken place previously and where people

:57:55.:57:57.

have been told they have no charge to answer

:57:58.:58:01.

to that there should be a statute of limitations

:58:02.:58:04.

and this is something that is prevalent

:58:05.:58:05.

Would you set a time limit after which it

:58:06.:58:10.

I'd just like to say, they're all going on about going for the

:58:11.:58:20.

At the end of the day, in this country, the IRA

:58:21.:58:24.

They are actually immune from prosecution.

:58:25.:58:33.

See the HET, the majority of it is Loyalist that

:58:34.:58:37.

There you go again, bringing back the green and orange.

:58:38.:58:47.

Regardless of who you think started the war,

:58:48.:58:48.

justice must be served for all cases.

:58:49.:58:51.

Hold on a minute, hold on a minute, there is someone at this top

:58:52.:58:54.

Give her the courtesy of listening to her.

:58:55.:58:58.

With respect, I know I'm young and I didn't live through the

:58:59.:59:01.

Troubles so I'll give back to the older people,

:59:02.:59:03.

But regardless of who started the war or whatever, in

:59:04.:59:07.

OTRs. In any case...

:59:08.:59:13.

Why are the OTRs not being brought to justice?

:59:14.:59:25.

I just think that we need to accept as society

:59:26.:59:30.

that there was a fragile past, but we are going to have to

:59:31.:59:33.

move on together at some point because we're going to be stuck in

:59:34.:59:36.

this position for God knows how many years now

:59:37.:59:38.

and we're going to have to work together.

:59:39.:59:40.

Just don't go for one part of society.

:59:41.:59:43.

No, I emphasised that both parts of society need to move

:59:44.:59:47.

I know the question was relating to legacy, but there

:59:48.:59:52.

are people here tonight is living in the past.

:59:53.:59:54.

And I want to say, with the maximum of respect, with the maximum of

:59:55.:00:02.

respect, that living in the past isn't going to cut it any more.

:00:03.:00:07.

Whether it's discrimination against people at this table because they

:00:08.:00:10.

speak Irish or discrimination against gays who want to get

:00:11.:00:12.

married, discrimination against ethnic minorities,

:00:13.:00:13.

or it's trying... CHEERING

:00:14.:00:17.

Or it's trying to turn back the clock.

:00:18.:00:20.

Because I lived through that horror as well.

:00:21.:00:22.

I lived through it and I saw people dead in my street.

:00:23.:00:25.

I have to say, I mean, I've said it before,

:00:26.:00:38.

Victims deserve justice if it's available.

:00:39.:00:43.

There needs to be some form of truth to come out.

:00:44.:00:46.

But it seems too often that the focus is on state forces.

:00:47.:00:49.

I am all for, if crimes were committed, then

:00:50.:00:52.

they should be looked into, but the fact that the focus

:00:53.:00:55.

Young man on the side of the table wants to speak.

:00:56.:01:01.

Well, Stephen, I live in a community that has seen

:01:02.:01:05.

many people's lives absolutely destroyed by terrorism.

:01:06.:01:09.

And I interact with people on a regular basis

:01:10.:01:11.

whose families have been torn apart.

:01:12.:01:15.

So, for me, I think that we are past persecution.

:01:16.:01:19.

I think the Good Friday agreement has completely

:01:20.:01:21.

Imagine being the family member of a victim just

:01:22.:01:26.

thinking they're not going to get justice.

:01:27.:01:28.

Yeah, and I think it is horrendous and terrible, but I think

:01:29.:01:31.

for us to start on the process of moving forward and bringing a

:01:32.:01:34.

conclusion to the past, we need an apology.

:01:35.:01:36.

From people that engaged in criminality and terrorism

:01:37.:01:43.

You know, you're talking about respect for

:01:44.:01:51.

ethnic minorities and respect for people

:01:52.:01:52.

from the gay community and whatnot.

:01:53.:01:56.

What about the respect for the victims of people...

:01:57.:02:04.

Darkley Gospel Hall, where people worshipped,

:02:05.:02:08.

met together to worship God, and were slaughtered because of it.

:02:09.:02:11.

So, are you willing to show respect to those people?

:02:12.:02:15.

You're talking to me, so let me answer.

:02:16.:02:20.

We need respect for all those victims who died.

:02:21.:02:25.

When we show respect, Calvin, when we show

:02:26.:02:30.

respect, John's mother was shot by a British soldier.

:02:31.:02:34.

So we have to show respect to him as well.

:02:35.:02:37.

And our duty to all those that died is to create a piece which is

:02:38.:02:41.

And let's see Sinn Fein take the lead on that

:02:42.:02:45.

by apologising for what the IRA did and the campaign of 30 years of

:02:46.:02:48.

ethnic cleansing and terrorising one community in Northern Ireland.

:02:49.:02:50.

Stephen, the difficulty is that we are in danger of using

:02:51.:02:58.

the past and other people's hurt as weapons in an argument

:02:59.:03:02.

And I think that's a very dangerous thing to do.

:03:03.:03:06.

I have sat in rooms with people who have

:03:07.:03:08.

lost family members and their seeking out of the truth and

:03:09.:03:12.

everything else has replaced, as a campaign, the last

:03:13.:03:16.

They are still grieving for that loss today and we cannot be

:03:17.:03:20.

dismissive of that is, but we also shouldn't

:03:21.:03:22.

use their pain to try and

:03:23.:03:25.

inflict political wounds on each other.

:03:26.:03:26.

OK, so, John Stewart, what is the solution?

:03:27.:03:29.

Well, first of all, one of the most frustrating things

:03:30.:03:31.

that I find is for the victims over 20 or 30 years even waiting

:03:32.:03:35.

I find it extremely frustrating that we cannot

:03:36.:03:38.

yet agree on the definition of victim.

:03:39.:03:39.

It is very clear to me, Stephen, and to everyone else that a

:03:40.:03:42.

victim is someone who has suffered as a result

:03:43.:03:45.

And if they were an innocent victim, they should be

:03:46.:03:48.

I believe if you walked out with the intention of causing

:03:49.:03:57.

devastation and murder and as a result...

:03:58.:03:59.

It was a complex situation, was it not?

:04:00.:04:01.

The people who suffered, the people who

:04:02.:04:07.

are living with debilitating injuries.

:04:08.:04:08.

One of the most compelling arguments came from Alan McBride,

:04:09.:04:12.

whose wife died in the Shank Hill bombing.

:04:13.:04:15.

And he said, the people who planted that bomb for him were not

:04:16.:04:18.

But he said their family hurt like his family.

:04:19.:04:24.

And we need to bear in mind that the relatives

:04:25.:04:28.

are not responsible for the actions of those who died.

:04:29.:04:30.

Aoife, do you think that those families of paramilitaries also

:04:31.:04:34.

I think families on both sides, we're going to have to accept the

:04:35.:04:46.

past. It happened. But we have to move on at some point together and

:04:47.:04:49.

yes, the families need justice but it is not just the paramilitaries'

:04:50.:04:53.

families, is the families that were hurt by things like Bloody Sunday.

:04:54.:04:57.

We are going to have to accept and be able to understand that there

:04:58.:05:01.

were grievances, but we are going to have to move on. How galling would

:05:02.:05:06.

it be for some people who tried to abide by the war and they now in

:05:07.:05:12.

2017 C paramilitaries and their families potentially getting support

:05:13.:05:16.

from the state's how galling would that be for law-abiding citizens? I

:05:17.:05:21.

think that all cases, paramilitary are not, should be looked into.

:05:22.:05:28.

Should be given focus. Another thing, a la people are saying, there

:05:29.:05:32.

was a word here, and people have different viewpoints at the table.

:05:33.:05:37.

You can't just put it down to one. I think we're seeing certain people

:05:38.:05:44.

undergo a campaign of a rewriting programme in Northern Ireland where

:05:45.:05:51.

we equate terrorism to security forces. Now, for me, there is a key

:05:52.:05:56.

difference. Those... Can I finish despite? Those that were engaged in

:05:57.:06:02.

paramilitaries, they were intent on destroying the fabric of Northern

:06:03.:06:05.

Ireland whereas the security forces stepped between, stepped on place

:06:06.:06:11.

between those in Northern Ireland, civilians in Northern Ireland to

:06:12.:06:19.

protect our and societies. Katie-Rose, Katie-Rose... No,

:06:20.:06:24.

Katie-Rose go. People will good against what you're saying. It's not

:06:25.:06:33.

about views,... But you think that's just should be served in those

:06:34.:06:37.

cases? It's not an orange and green matter. There were specific cases,

:06:38.:06:44.

OK, I'm not saying that there wasn't wrongdoing by maybe specific members

:06:45.:06:49.

of the Armed Forces... Goes by very quickly, Thomas. When David Cameron

:06:50.:06:53.

stepped forward as a result of the inquiry and apologise for the

:06:54.:06:58.

actions of the British Army, that was a huge moment for Northern

:06:59.:07:00.

Ireland and brought our community together and that was a crucial

:07:01.:07:05.

thing. Investigations both sides bring our community together.

:07:06.:07:09.

Dolores. I think we need to deal with the past in order to build

:07:10.:07:12.

reconciliation and needs to be honesty around it and there are

:07:13.:07:17.

people actively engaged in rewriting the past, but there are many

:07:18.:07:20.

families still waiting on truth and justice and I am sorry, but that it

:07:21.:07:25.

forces have two be held to a higher standard. Very quickly, John. I get

:07:26.:07:31.

the feeling that for some people, it would be easier if people just

:07:32.:07:34.

disappeared over the years and this would just drag on until there was

:07:35.:07:37.

no one left to remember the past and that is a sad state and alluring.

:07:38.:07:43.

Geoffrey. We need to deal with these issues, but I agree with Aoife. We

:07:44.:07:48.

need to reach a point where we think about the future and the future is

:07:49.:07:52.

you guys and I think I speak for all of us on the side of the table, we

:07:53.:07:56.

have been highly impressed by your contributions night. It warms my

:07:57.:08:02.

heart, Stephen, that we have young people, articulate, knowledgeable,

:08:03.:08:04.

capable and will be the next generation of leaders in this

:08:05.:08:11.

country. We can take this country so far, our generation but it is your

:08:12.:08:14.

future. On our promise is that we are going to try and reach out to

:08:15.:08:17.

you wherever you are in Northern Ireland. If you want to be at the

:08:18.:08:20.

top table, contact us. Thank you very much to everyone in the studio

:08:21.:08:24.

's night, the politicians and youth here at The Top Table. Well, there

:08:25.:08:31.

will be plenty more discussion in the weeks ahead of next month's

:08:32.:08:36.

General election. You can find details of the candidates running on

:08:37.:08:44.

BBC website. We are out of time, but what has happened here tonight

:08:45.:08:46.

really shows there is real passion for politician amongst all ages.

:08:47.:08:52.

That is rejoining us, good night. -- thank you for joining us.

:08:53.:09:13.

We're really in it up to here this week.

:09:14.:09:16.