Culture shock for Stormont's youngest MLA, Megan Fearon


One woman is 20, the other 86. One is a committed republican, the other a monarch. Both women, however, have at least two things in common. Both are unelected and both are about to become better acquainted with Martin McGuinness.

Whilst the 86-year-old Queen made her way through the rain towards Enniskillen, 20-year-old Megan Fearon was preparing to take her place as the youngest member of the Stormont Assembly.

Ms Fearon has been co-opted as an MLA, replacing Conor Murphy in Newry and Armagh as part of the party's phasing out of double jobbing by its MPs.

Sinn Fein say Megan's youth won't be any barrier to their new MLA doing her duty.

Conor Murphy says he is "delighted to endorse this bright, energetic and intelligent young woman... I know that going into the Assembly will be something completely new to Megan and, while this would daunt many of Megan's age, I am confident that she will rise admirably to any challenges set."

However a glance at Megan's Twitter account gives a sense of what a culture shock a new life at Stormont might prove for the young Sinn Fein activist.

Back in May, she was stuck in the university library praying for the end of her exams.

She messaged a friend: 'I am dead on thursday in Economics,have done hardly anything!! I'll be coming home on friday like a Zombie!!'

As the end approached she continued: "Time flies! This time tomorrow il have my economics outta the way and will officially be unemployed! haha"

It's fair to say that in early May Megan hadn't been briefed on her potential role in Sinn Fein's double jobbing strategy, as she tweeted: "Can't sleep! On Google looking at ways to spend my life for the next few years at least! Really starting to love the idea of #TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)."

In between tweets about Desperate Housewives and Sabrina - The Teenage Witch, Ms Fearon makes clear her views on feminism and republicanism and it's clear she has been a long term Sinn Fein activist. '

Back in April last year, prior to the Queen's historic visit to the Irish Republic, she commented: "So its official..the queen will visit on 17th May, 37 years to the day after the dublin & monaghan bombings! I feel ill..."

That was then, this is now and I'm sure by the time she arrives in the Stormont chamber Megan Fearon will be on message - once Sinn Fein has worked out exactly what the party line is on Desperate Housewives.

Mark Devenport Article written by Mark Devenport Mark Devenport Political editor, Northern Ireland

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  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Firstly may I say that the system we have you of nomination is repugnant. The idea that you don't need to elect an MLA is preposterous. Every member that represents us in Stormont should be voted in by the public. How can they have a mandate without the most basic of democratic process being there. TBC.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    What a thoroughly condescending comment: because Fearon is a) young & b) female, her only contribution to the Assembly will be her analysis of Desperate Housewives? Young people, old people, celebrities and politicians alike seem to use their twitter accounts to discuss any manner of things, including their lives outside the political arena. At least let her get in the job before you criticize.



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