Over two hundred people from across the county attended the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2016 in the Ballyroe Heights Hotel in Tralee on Friday, January 27th. The celebration commenced with dinner and was followed by a presentation of twenty seven awards, accompanied with an inspiring citation of each winner’s achievements. Twenty Merit Awards, five Distinction Awards, the Voluntary Group Award and the Overall Winner Award were presented on the night.
Chief Superintendent Tom Myers commended fifteen year old Timmy Dillon from Kilflynn who was announced as the Overall Winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2016. Timmy was presented with a specially
commissioned crystal trophy and the Overall Winner Certificate to mark his achievement. Timmy, a third year student at St Michael’s College in Listowel was described at the awards as an inspiration and a shining example to the young people both in school and in his community. Timmy has been involved in many fundraising initiatives in school for charities and also for his local GAA Club St Senans. Timmy plays an important role with his local youth club and also helps out with the local coursing club. Timmy was praised for being a genuine, dependable, modest, hardworking young man who gives up his time to support the less fortunate in his community and also helping out his neighbours.
The five Distinction Award Winners were: Michaela Buckley O’Riordan, Muckross, Killarney; Megan Duggan, Headford, Killarney; Diarmuid Lynch, Kielduff, Tralee; Alison Jones, Farmers Bridge, Tralee and Shay Walsh, Scartaglen, Killarney. The five distinction winners each received a Children of Lir bronze trophy and a Distinction Award Certificate to mark their achievement in this year’s awards.
The Voluntary Group Achievement Award 2016 was presented to Kerry Comhairle na nOg. The youth council comprises of over 60 members and provides young people with the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies. Kerry Comhairle na nOg meet monthly in Tralee and Killarney to discuss topics such as mental health, education, substance misuse and bullying.
Twenty Merit Award Certificates were also presented to: Unity Ankomah, Tralee; Kevin Ashe, Ardfert; Orla Coffey, Caherciveen; Niamh Cullen, Lisselton; Jack Curran, Castleisland; Laura Daly, Faha, Killarney; Mark Doona, Beaufort, Killarney; Anthony Hanlon, Asdee Village; Michael Leane, Ballyheigue; Caelan McCarthy, Caherciveen; Joanne McCarthy, Kenmare; Emma Ni Chonchuir, Daingean Ui Chuis; Basit Oyebanji, Tralee; Denis O’Leary, Ballycasheen, Killarney; Sinead O’Sullivan, Caherciveen; Padraic Randles, Kilgarvan; Sinead Ryan, Tralee; Mervyn Shalemba, Tralee; Barry Sugrue, Tralee and Katejan Wojciak, Listowel.
Donal Pierse, Chairperson, Lee Strand commented “Lee Strand is delighted to support the Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards since 1998. Lee Strand in association with An Garda Siochana have always been proactive in acknowledging and identifying the positive work by young people and voluntary groups to enhance community life in Kerry. The awards are a fantastic celebration of their outstanding achievements.”
Chief Superintendent Tom Myers stated “An Garda Siochana consider it essential to engage in a positive fashion with the young people in our communities. In doing so it is necessary to acknowledge positive achievements by those young people, whether these are in the fields of voluntary work in the community, sport, or education. It would not be possible to acknowledge this achievement and have an occasion whereby the families of nominees can join in the celebrations without the support from Lee Strand, the local Co-Op highly respected in the community.”