Unsung heroes: David Young

Unsung heroes: David Young
Ian Williamson (Alliance News)
September-October 2009

Those of you who have been in touch with the Alliance office at Parliament Buildings will no doubt have been greeted by the cheery tones of David Young, our Press and Policy Assistant. David combines an encyclopaedic knowledge of parliamentary procedure with an encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema! Alliance News caught up with him at Stormont.

Tell us about your background?
I am orginally from Portstewart where I went to Coleraine Inst., but I have been living in student digs in Belfast for the past five years. I went to Queens, where I studied history and politics for three years. Then four days after my graduation ceremony, David Ford rang me up to say that I got this job.

You did work experience with Alliance before you started working for the party. Tell us what made you get involved with the party?
I have always supported Alliance, but it is really two family connections that got me involved in the party. Stephen Farry married my aunt a couple of years ago, so you could say I am continuing the family business. He was the General Secretary for the party during the last Assembly election, so I just asked if he needed any help at headquarters, which he gladly said yes to. The other reason why I got involved in the party is that David Ford and his wife are old friends of my parents, so I have known him most of my life.

What type of work does your daily job entail?
I do pretty much everything and anything under the sun up at Stormont. My main press work entails me writing press releases, organising interviews for the media and arranging photo calls. I also do Stormont related policy work, such as research for MLAs for Assembly debates. I am also in charge of drafting questions to Ministers, as well as looking after Assembly plenary business, such as amendments to motions and legislation.

What has been the most stand out experience of your time working for Alliance?
It was probably last May, when the Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai visited Belfast to attend a Liberal International conference. We were only told the day before the conference that he was coming, so Ian Williamson and myself spent several frantic hours trying to get as many journalists as possible to attend. I heard him speak of the unrest that was happening in his country, which I had only previously seen on the news, so to hear it first hand was something else. I got to shake his hand, which I was very proud to do, and I have massive respect for him as someone who worked to bring peace to their country while their life was under threat.

Do you have any ambitions to become an elected representative?
At the minute I would have to say that I probably would not want to become a politician, but I am only 23 years old, so maybe in 10 or 15 years I might have a go.

I know you are into films — what are your top ten all-time favourites?

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. The Departed
  3. Batman Begins
  4. Capote
  5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  6. Blades of Glory
  7. The Matrix
  8. Once Upon a Time in America
  9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  10. Nochnoy Dozor

What are your other hobbies?
I enjoy running with my housemates. I have to keep fit if I want to be able to chase after MLAs in Stormont! I also play rugby and cricket with my friends. And nothing beats a good book. As well as watching films, I do a lot of computer gaming on the X-Box 360 and Playstation.

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