First time voter: Gary McGeown

Image source, bbc


Gary McGeown

How old are you?


Where do you live?


What do you do?

I run a fish and chip shop about half an hour's drive away, in Dungannon



Why haven't you voted before?

Nobody has ever come to us and said, 'This is our party, this is what we do, and this is how we can help you'. The two schools that I went to, there was no education about the political parties. These people are looking to me to vote for them, but I don't know why I would want to. Also, the way the country is today is down to politicians, and I'm not sure elections help at all.

What do you think of the party leaders?

They're of no interest to me at all. They're just something that goes on in England. We've got our own set of politicians here in Northern Ireland, but I don't think they're any better. I honestly don't think I could vote for any of them. If you put a ballot paper in front of me, I think I'd destroy it. I'm not willing to put a vote on a piece of paper for someone that has no effect on me at all except for making things harder. I just won't waste my own time.

What's the big issue for you in this election?

I think it's the drug issue. I've got a lot of young staff here and a lot of younger customers. Heroin seems to be rife around the area here. We get customers in here sometimes - they order something - and they can't even remember what they've ordered because they're on something. It's destroying lives. And what are the politicians doing for these people? Nothing as far as I can see.

What's the first thing you'd do as Prime Minister?

There needs to be drugs education from a much younger age now. They need to try to make more people aware of the dangers they're facing.