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01 Dec 2021

Search is on for local heroes as Kilkenny/Carlow garda youth awards launched

Search is on for local heroes as Kilkenny/Carlow  garda youth awards launched

Inspector Claire Kenealy, Netwatch Brand Ambassador Mick Galwey, Juvenile Liaison Officer Kieran Scanlon, Sergeant Laura Dragoi, Cathaoirleach Cllr Andrew McGuinness

The search for a young person or group of young people who have achieved extraordinary things was announced today as An Garda Síochána in association with Netwatch, Carlow County Council and Kilkenny Co Council launched the Kilkenny/Carlow Garda Youth Awards.

Holly Farrell and Laura Delaney winners of the Divisional Group Award for establishing ‘Light up the Night’ - an annual tractor and truck run aiming to raise awareness of mental health, went on to scoop the National Group Achievement Award in 2020. 

Holly said of winning the award: “We were absolutely honoured to receive an award on both the national and regional level it has really shown us that when you give a little you receive so much more. The awards are recognised all over the country and have given us such confidence in the work we do to help our own community”

Laura added: “Myself and Holly never imagined we would win an award on either regional or national scale. The whole experience was magical. The awards have boosted our confidence dramatically we are delighted as they will stand to us on our CVs in the future.”

In launching this year’s Awards, Inspector Claire Kenealy, Thomastown Garda Station, Chairperson of the Organising Committee, remarked:  

“We are delighted to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of young people in the Carlow, Kilkenny and Thomastown Garda Districts through the Garda Youth Awards.

The past year has presented unprecedented challenges for all of us. We acknowledge the sacrifices made by young people, and their contributions to the community, both at a local level, and also in the wider community.   On a personal note I am delighted to be involved with the Youth Awards and look forward to hearing the positive stories and getting to know those involved.  We are grateful for the continued support and sponsorship of the Youth Awards”

Speaking of the awards Netwatch Brand Ambassador, Mick Galwey said:

“Netwatch is delighted to continue to support the Kilkenny/Carlow Garda Youth Awards. We have outstanding young people in our counties, all doing their communities proud. Throughout this pandemic we are hearing great stories of how these young people are contributing to their localities in such a positive way. It is so important to provide the opportunity to highlight some of these stories through these awards."   

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Andrew McGuinness said: “Kilkenny County Council are delighted to continue to support such a very worthwhile and positive project that benefits young people in Kilkenny and Carlow. I commend the Gardaí in both counties and the sponsors Netwatch.

"As Chair I am aware that there has not been the same opportunity to become involved in activities or projects, compared to previous years. However, it has been so encouraging to witness the many young people who have been active throughout the pandemic, volunteering and becoming involved in a variety of projects that support both the vulnerable in the community, and the frontline services."

If you know of any young person or a group of young people who are committed to making a difference in their community or a young person who has overcome difficult circumstances and deserve to be recognised, then please nominate them. All nominees or group members should be between the ages of 13 and 21.

The four award categories are:

Individual Award – Any young person who has made a positive contribution to their community, making it a better place to live. 
Group Award - Any group of two or more young people who have contributed positively to their community.
Special Achievement Award - Any young person who has defied the odds or overcome difficult circumstances.
Community Safety Award - any young person or group who have made their community a safer place to live through a crime prevention or safety initiative/innovation.

This year there is another dimension to the awards with the introduction of the Carlow/Kilkenny ‘Garda Youth Awards 2021’ logo design competition. Organisers  are calling on all the young artists in the Carlow, Kilkenny and Thomastown Garda District communities to create a logo. The task is to create a hand drawn logo that encompasses the meaning of these awards. It should be something which depicts or inspires young people; the theme is ‘kindness’.

Details of this competition will be available later in the week, so any budding artists should keep an eye on An Garda Síochána and Netwatch social media platforms for details.

The Youth Awards will be organised in adherence with all Government Covid-19 guidelines. This year, the process for nominations will be online. 

Nominations can be submitted by any member of the public, relatives and family members are also free to submit a nomination.

 The closing date for the applications for the Carlow/ Kilkenny Garda Youth Awards is March 12.

The link for the application is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Garda-Youth-Awards-2021

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