Mark Durkan is the funniest MLA

Enviroment Minister Mark H Durkan, MLA won the award for funniest politician at  this years Voicebox competition is congratulated by Speaker of the Assembly Mitchel McLaughlin, MLA and Alison McCullough, RCLST.  The event which takes the format of a joke competition was organised by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist  held at the Senate Chamber in Stormont's Parliament Buildings.  Picture by Brian Morrison.

Enviroment Minister Mark H Durkan, MLA won the award for funniest politician at this years Voicebox competition is congratulated by Speaker of the Assembly Mitchel McLaughlin, MLA and Alison McCullough, RCLST. The event which takes the format of a joke competition was organised by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist held at the Senate Chamber in Stormont's Parliament Buildings. Picture by Brian Morrison.

Derry’s MLA Mark Durkan has been named Northern Ireland’s funniest MLA.

The Minister for the Environment received the title yesterday at the RCSLT Voice Box Awards.

Lily Barlow from Glencraig Integrated in Holywood was named 2016 Voice Box Champion with her joke about the inflatable school.

Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin MLA said: “It was wonderful to bring this event back to Parliament Buildings for a fourth time. Since taking on the role of Speaker I have been acutely aware of the fundamental role that communication plays in all aspects of this Assembly.”

This event offered a valuable platform to raise awareness of the importance of good speech, language and communication skills for future success in educational attainment and gave all school children an opportunity to practise these skills in a fun and exciting competition.

Vivienne Fitzroy, RCLST Northern Ireland Policy Officer said: “This popular event has been a great success in previous years, with fantastic engagement between pupils and their elected representatives. We provided schools with an online toolkit where they found the resources they needed to run their own Voice Box heat. The toolkit contained everything from posters to put up around the school and certificates for pupils participating in their own competition. Through the RCSLT Giving Voice campaign, politicians, parents/guardians and speech and language therapists are working closely to raise awareness of the importance of communication.”