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Clare’s young community leaders recognised in inaugural Garda Division Youth Awards

12 December 2016

Shannon Airport sponsored event illustrates positivity of county’s youth.

The emerging young leaders of Co. Clare were honoured on Thursday night for their “volunteerism, bravery and generosity” as the winners of second annual Shannon Airport sponsored Garda Division Youth Awards were announced.

Eight individuals and one group – the Clare Civil Defence – were recognised for the civic and personal spirit they displayed in helping others and overcoming odds at the awards ceremony, which took place at the West County Inn Hotel.

The winners were rewarded for their endeavours with not just the accolade itself but Shannon Airport gifted each of the eight individual winners with a free flight for two people to Berlin, while it presented the group winner a €500 voucher to go against any flights they wish.

The awards seek to identify the county’s inspirational youth leaders and one youth group in recognition of their voluntary work and personal triumph.  All award nominees and winners are aged between 14 and 19 years.

This year’s winners were recognised for a wide variety of volunteer work, from Tidy Towns activity to mentoring others, community activity and overcoming bereavement and personal challenges.

Guest speaker at the event was Clare GAA star Gary Brennan. The awards were presented by Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes and Garda Chief Supt. for the Clare division John Kerin along with others, including Bishop of Killaloe Fintan Monahan, Asst. Garda Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, Ennis PP Fr. Gerry Cleary, Red Rock actor Patrick Ryan and traditional musician Chris Droney (92) from Bellharbour.

There was a strong Fleadh flavour to the event, with the young members of the Civil Defence recognised for their contribution to running of the Fleadh, among other activities, while a group of Comhaltas members were also on hand to entertain the large crowd.

Said Rose Hynes, Shannon Group Chairman:  “Clearly on the basis of what we’ve seen tonight and last year, we can be well proud of our young people in Clare. The award winners tonight are really a representation of the youth of the county and what they’ve done to deserve recognition in these awards speak very well for them.  “They have displayed volunteerism, bravery and generosity and it’s only right that we recognise them for what they’ve done for others and, in some cases, achieved personally in the midst of very considerable adversity.”

Said Chief. Supt. John Kerin,  “As a born and bred Clare man, I’m personally delighted to see young people being recognised as they are tonight.  An Garda Siochana is probably more recognised for its work in crime protection than anything else but we have a very strong community social involvement and in that come across inspirational people.

“Among those are young people, as we’ve clearly seen here.  They will go on to be community leaders of tomorrow and will have gained personally from the experience. They also give a great example to their peers.”

The winners were:

•        Jordan Cassells (17), from Feakle
•        Eadoin McNamara (18) from Ennis
•        Mickie Daly (18), from Ennis
•        Kevin Dormer (18), from Ennis
•        Conor Murphy (17), from Ennistymon
•        Neil Vaughan (17), from Ballyvaughan
•        Aoife Leamy (19), from Tulla
•        Regan Conway (18), from Feakle
•        Group winners:  Civil Defense

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