23/08/2021 The search is on for Clare’s top young community leaders following the launch today of the sixth annual Clare Garda Division Youth Awards, sponsored by Shannon Group. The awards seek to identify inspirational young leaders and one youth group in recognition of their voluntary work and personal achievements. All award nominees and winners are aged between 14 and 19 years and are from the Clare Garda Division district. Since its inception, the awards have highlighted some inspirational young Clare people who have displayed heroism in overcoming personal challenges or reached out to help others in their community, and the organisers expect a similar line up of nominees for this year’s awards. There are four Award Categories - Individual Award, Group Award, Community Safety Award and a Special Achievement Award. The Individual Award is open to young people who have made a positive contribution to their community, making it a better place to live. The Group Award category applies for groups of two or more young people whose combined efforts have contributed positively to their communities. The Community Safety Award is for a young person, who through a crime prevention or safety innovation, have made their community a safer place to live. The Special Achievement category is open to any young person who has overcome difficult circumstances, or defied the odds and whose commitment deserves recognition. The closing date for nominations is Monday 20th September and the public is now encouraged to nominate candidates. At today’s launch was 18-year-old Jessica Whelan from O’Brien’s Bridge in Co. Clare, last year’s Clare winner of a Special Achievement Award, who went on to win an award at the national awards event. “Winning the award last year was amazing. To win for doing something that was part of my everyday life was really special. Winning really helped to give me confidence and I would recommend people to get involved and nominate a deserving young person from your area,” says Jessica. Speaking at this year’s awards, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “This is our sixth year sponsoring the awards and during that time we have been humbled by the countless stories from young men and women of heroism, selflessness and courage in the face of adversity. “This truly inspirational event gives us a unique opportunity to recognise and reward these wonderful young people who are making a real difference in their community. We believe by recognising and encouraging these heroic young people we can foster in them a lifelong commitment to helping others and their communities and serve as inspiration to their peers to follow suit.” Speaking about the Awards, Garda Chief Superintendent Sean Colleran of the Clare Garda Division, said: This is the 6th annual Clare Garda Youth Awards to be held in conjunction with Shannon Group and to date they have been hugely successfully both locally and nationally where young people from Clare have been acknowledged for the excellent work they have done within communities. “This year has been challenging for everybody and in particular for our young people. We are aware of the good work that has been done by our young people and it is important to An Garda Síochána to provide this platform to acknowledge them and the positive work they have done in their communities.” Entry forms for the competition are now available and can be accessed on the Garda Siochana website www.garda.ie or it can download here The closing date for receipt of applications is Monday 20th September and entry forms must be emailed as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. This year’s awards will be presented at a special online event in October.