Garda Youth Awards - 'Our heroes'

By Mary Dennehy

THE nominees for this year’s Garda Youth Awards have been described as “our heroes and heroines – our Irish Oscars”, as a well-deserved spotlight was shone on the impact young people have across local communities.

The second annual Garda Youth Awards for the DMR South Division took to the stage of the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght last week, an inspirational evening brimming with positivity, friendship and hope for the future.

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The Group Award went to St Paul’s

Celebrating outstanding young people between the ages of 13 and 21 years, the awards ceremony recognised the impact that young people have throughout the areas of DMR South – and the positive steps they take each day to enhance the lives of their friends, families and communities.

The DMR South division includes Tallaght, Crumlin and Terenure and their respective sub-districts of Rathfarnham, Sundrive Road and Rathmines.

One important aspect of the night was the presence of parents, club leaders, teachers and principals who came together to acknowledge the achievements of young people – and to express the admiration they have for the difference made by all those nominated.

Sr Bernadette Sweeney, part of the judging panel, and the Director of the Crumlin Centre of Creative Arts, said: “The young people we encountered on the night of the awards were truly inspirational.

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Overall Individual winner Holly O’Reilly with parents Andrea and Joe

“They embody all that is wonderful about youth today.

“Their spirit of community in working together, their generous giving of their time without counting the cost.

“They are truly creative innovators, and our future no doubt is in safe hands.

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Members of St Kevin’s Hurling and Camogie club who are part of the ABC Teenage Coaches

“They are our heroes and heroines – our Irish Oscars.”

All nominees were recognised on the night and received award certificates, with the four category winners now going forward to represent DMR South in the national final of the Garda Youth Awards 2020.

Holly O’Reilly, from St Louis School in Rathmines, won the Individual Award for her volunteer work with the Fettercairn Youth Horse Project in Tallaght while Ryan Delacy White from Firhouse Community College won the Special Achievement Award.

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Ryan Delacy White from Firhouse CC receives the Special Achievement Award from Chief Supt Kevin Gralton

The Group Award went to St Paul’s Secondary School for its diverse number of student-led projects, with the Community Safety Award going to Rosary College Crumlin’s TY Group for their Age Action initiative.

A special award was also presented to the St Kevin’s ABC Teenage Coaches for the leadership, guidance and support they show younger members of the hurling and camogie club.

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Rosary College Crumlin students with their Community Safety Award

Speaking with The Echo, Tallaght district Superintendent Ian Lackey said: “The awards reflect the amazing work, and often unseen work, that young people are doing.

“The spirit of volunteering is alive and well among the next generation.”

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Tallaght Community School were among the nominees

 “There were a great number of nominees and a good spread across the division of DMR South and I congratulate all of the nominees and winners.”

Supt Lackey also thanked the DMR South Garda Youth Award sponsors, the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght.

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St Colmcille's Community School in Knocklyon were among the nominees on the night

The Echo newspaper was delighted to support the awards and to assist on the judging panel with Sr Bernadette Sweeney and members of the local Garda force. The Garda Band was also present on the night.

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