LIMERICK GARDA YOUTH AWARDS 2014
Limerick Gardai in association with Garveys SuperValu Newcastle West and Corbally Limerick are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Limerick Garda Youth Awards for 2014. The awards were presented at a gala dinner, attended by community groups from across the city and county in the Woodlands House Hotel this past Thursday November 27 2014. Entertainment on the night was provided by the cream of the city and counties young talent with the Castleconnell Ahane Ceoltas group and the girl band Chase, singers Enda Walsh and Michelle Lowe and the comedian Edward Fitzgerald.
Chief Superintendent David Sheahan tells me, “It’s an absolutely fantastic initiative, and getting the Gardaí and local youths together is always positive. It was such a pleasure to meet all the award winners. An Garda Síochána recognise that a lot of good work is being done by young people in every community in Limerick and awards were presented to young people who by their presence make their communities a better place to live in and the nomination process was open to everyone. Every nominee received a certificate, even if they did not win an award. This way, all nominees were recognised for their efforts, and the certificate is a very valuable item to have on a young person’s CV into the future. I am already looking forward to next year and we are thrilled with the success of the event!”
There were nine awards in total including 4 overall award winners, 1 award winner from each of the four Garda districts within the Limerick division (Bruff, Newcastle West, Henry Street and Roxboro Road) and 1 special achievement award for a young person or group of young people who have defied the odds or overcome difficult circumstances and whose commitment deserves recognition.
For information on how to enter as a nominee for next years awards contact the Juvenile Liaison Office at Mayorstone Garda Station, Limerick at 061 456986, or your local Garda Station.
This years award winners are as follows:
Heather from Raheen in Limerick city is a transition year student in Colaiste Chiarain and is rewarded for achieving excellent results in her Junior cert despite dealing with challenges in her personal life. She has faced these all her life but has overcome them with an open mind, a positive attitude and outlook on life. She is an excellent role model to others dealing with their own personal battles. Heather hopes to follow a career in special effects and acting or psychology and as she says herself, “God gives the hardest battles to the strongest soldiers”
Grainne from Anglesboro near the South Limerick, North Cork border wins her award for her outstanding contribution to the Drive To Survive campaign which raised over €140,000 for the hospice movement. Using her piping skills as a member of the Liam Lynch Memorial Pipe band Grainne provided the musical entertainment as Drive to Survive travelled the country raising funds for this worthy cause. Like her parents and grandparents before her, Grainne is a member of many voluntary and sporting groups in a parish renowned for its community spirit over the years. She is currently studying agricultural science in Waterford Institute of Technology.
Shane from Thomondgate in Limerick city wins his award for the inspiration and influence he bestows to those around him. Although confined to a wheelchair, he refuses to allow this to prevent him from taking an active part in all activities within his school and community. His actions are an inspiration to many in the manner in which he interacts with and influences others. He has championed the cause of suicide awareness among teenagers going on to produce a short video on the subject that won a national award. He is currently a student in St Nessans College.
Dean from Ballinacurra Weston Limerick City wins his award for his efforts in turning his life around and in doing so has become an inspiration and role model to the youth in his community. Dean was having difficulties in school but was supported by the Steps School Completion Programme and having a completed an FAI soccer course he realised how important education was and is now working hard to complete his Leaving Certificate in 2015. He now volunteers with Steps School Completion programme and through his efforts have prevented many young people from dropping out of school. He is involved with many other voluntary organisations in the community including the soccer club, community games and the local pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Martin is from Kilmallock, Co Limerick. He has been a member of the Foróige youth project in Kilmallock since he was 10 yrs old and wins his award for helping, supporting and developing youth activities in Kilmallock. Over the years Martin has progressed from being a young participant in this project to a fully trained Foróige volunteer and has represented the youth of Kilmallock at Comhairle na nÓg, Headstrong and Foróige’s Youth Participation Structure. Leading by example Martin constantly gives his time to Foróige including facilitating with the Youth Theatre. He wants to continue to help other young people to engage with Foróige as he has seen the positive effect it has had on his own life and the community.
Jonathan from Southill, Limerick City has faced challenges in his life since he was eight years old. He wins his award for the way he has faced these challenges, overcome them and in the process has become a role model for other young people in the area. By getting involved in voluntary groups in the community, Jonathan soon took a leadership role chairing the Southill club2gether youth committee, organising the youth exchange with Omagh Youth Centre, then joining the Arsenal FC Gap Program which resulted in Jonathan spending three months in Uganda helping others on a voluntary basis. Jonathan hopes that his award will be an inspiration to other young people in Southill and show them that there’s a lot to be gained from volunteering in your community and helping others in any way possible.
Emily is from Knockaderry, Co. Limerick. She has shown an awareness of the needs of others and wins her award for leading a team of fellow students to raise funds for the Novas Group McGarry House shelter in Limerick. Using her leadership skills assertiveness and community awareness she organised events that raised funds for this worthy cause. While doing so she involved other young people and in doing so was able to raise awareness of homelessness and other social issues in society. Her vision on social justice shows her to be an ideal role model for the community. She is presently a student at Desmond College, Newcastle West.
Patrick is from Newcastle West, Co Limerick. He joined the Foroige Youth Club a few years ago and quickly progressed to become a leader and a role model to others within the group. He was one of the main participants in the Open Mic night and encouraged and motivated others to participate. He is now a leading role model for the younger members of the club and they request his presence regularly. He wins his award for his general participation and leadership within the youth club, for his willingness to help and for using his talents to bring joy to others such as the local nursing home that he has visited regularly. He is currently a student in Desmond College, Newcastle West.
Anois Group, Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa, Doon
The Anois group consists of 8 students, Mary O’ Connor, Sean Mc Mahon, Paddy O’ Donnell, Roisín Mc Kenna, Tadhg Whelan, Molly Buckley, Ryan Lonergan and Michelle Berkery. The Anois programme develops leadership skills in young people encouraging them to take an active role in their local and school community. Last year one of their teachers, Mr. Alan Feeley, someone who epitomised all the qualities of leadership and service died quite suddenly. As a tribute to this teacher and as a way of raising awareness of organ donation this group embarked on a campaign titled #LiveLifeGive Life. The main focus of the campaign was the promotion and sale of wristbands in the school and the local community. The money raised was donated to organ donation and the Donal Walsh Foundation. The group’s efforts have earned them the Special achievement award that they would like to dedicate to their late teacher, Mr. Alan Feeley.
Photos by Oisin mcHugh for I Love Limerick 2014. All Rights Reserved.