Awards honour local youths

“All too often we see young people in the news for all the wrong reasons, so it is particularly satisfying for me to be affirming the achievements of these young people.”

“All too often we see young people in the news for all the wrong reasons, so it is particularly satisfying for me to be affirming the achievements of these young people.”

That was the sentiment of Supt Mick Nevin at an event in Desart Hall to recognise the achievements of 15 young people. “That is what the Compass Garda Youth Diversion Project is all about, supporting young people to succeed in life and become valued young citizens and that’s why both our members and Compass Youth Workers are working hand in hand. The success of that approach is evident tonight.”

Last Thursday night saw the achievements of these young people recognised during a ceremony attended by parents, Mayor David Fitzgerald, local gardaí, the Irish Youth Justice Service and Ossory Youth staff. Four young people were awarded bronze medals in An Gaisce’s Presidents Awards, eight achieved certification for completing a two-week full-time employment preparation course and the winners of Ossory Youth’s Summer Pool Tournament were also awarded.

During the awards, youth worker Edel Fortune highlighted the need to give young people every opportunity to get a job. “The added bonus for us, the garda and the wider community is that young people who are on a path towards gainful employment are less likely to get involved in anti-social behaviour and that has been evidenced all over the world,” she said.

Compass Garda Youth Diversion Project supports the work of gardaí in promoting the positive endeavour of young people. Seventeen-year-old Tara was one of the young people who spent a year working towards getting the President’s Bronze Award. “Doing the hand massages for elderly residents in the nursing home was the most challenging bit. I was really shy but the lady I had was great fun and full of stories. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it but I really did,” she said.