Minister Flanagan presents inaugural Garda National Youth Awards
· Awards recognise young people aged 13 to 21 who have made their communities better places to live
· 22 awards presented to over 100 young people
27 April 2019
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today attended the first ever Garda National Youth Awards in the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise. The Minister and Assistant Garda Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon presented 22 awards to over 100 young people aged 13 to 21 years old in recognition of their contribution to making their communities better places to live.
Minister Flanagan said: “To be recognised as someone who has made their community a better or safer place to live, or as someone who has defied the odds in overcoming difficult circumstances, is really special. And that recognition is what these inaugural Garda National Youth Awards are giving to many of the young people who join us in this room. The Awards give us all a wonderful opportunity to celebrate young people from across the country who have given so much to their communities.”
The National Awards build on the highly successful Divisional Garda Youth Awards which have been running for the last twenty years. There are now 25 Garda Divisions with Divisional Youth Awards. Of these, 21 Divisions have nominated young people/groups in four categories for the National Awards. In order to qualify for a National Award, the nominees have each already won a Garda Divisional Youth Award in their local area. A judging panel, established with an independent chair, adjudicated each of the National Award winners.
The Minister added: “The award winners here today represent our best and brightest. Each has already won an award at Garda Divisional level - a huge achievement in its own right. To then be nominated to go forward to the National Awards shows just how much their communities value them. I have had a chance to read some of the stories of those with us. What really struck me was the selflessness of each of the young people. Their willingness to put others ahead of themselves is outstanding and I believe much can be learned from their dedication.”
Awards were presented in four categories:
· Individual Award - Making a positive contribution to their community, making it a better place to live.
· Group Award - Group of two or more, making a positive contribution to their community, making it a better place to live.
· Special Achievement Award - Overcome difficult circumstances, defied all the odds and whose commitment deserves recognition.
· Community Safety Award - Through a crime prevention or safety initiative/innovation, have made their community a safer place to live.
Nominations are sought by Gardaí through their community engagement including with local schools, youth groups and other connections in communities.
Note for editors:
Awards are being presented to young people from Counties Clare, Longford, Tipperary, Galway, Cork, Wexford, Westmeath, Limerick, Mayo, Laois, Offaly and Donegal.
A copy of the citations, which has details of the awards winners, why they are receiving the award and where they are from, is available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs of the event will be made available after the award ceremony by the Garda Press Office.