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  • Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2015

    December 2015 | by

    Over two hundred and seventy people from across the county attended the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2015 in the Ballyroe Heights Hotel in Tralee on Friday, January 29th. The celebration commenced with dinner and was followed by a presentation of thirty two awards, accompanied with an inspiring citation of each winner’s achievements. Twenty six Merit Awards, four Distinction Awards, the Voluntary Group Award and the Overall Winner Award were presented on the night. Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney commended 18 year old Brendan Coppinger from Muckross in Killarney who was announced as the Overall Winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2015. Brendan was presented with a specially commissioned crystal trophy and the Overall Winner Certificate to mark his achievement. Brendan, a 5th year student at St Brendan’s College in Killarney completed many tasks as part of his transition year, including the ECDL Programme, the log-on-learn programme and also received a Bronze Gaisce. Brendan also volunteered to train Killarney Celtic U11’s. At a training session Brendan along with Coach Eugene Cosgrave saved the life of his fellow Transition Year Student Tom Geaney who had gone into cardiac arrest. As a result of this incident a new local project in Killarney has been set up called Operation Resuscitation. The plan will offer specialist life-saving training to schools, sports clubs and individuals and aims to train hundreds of people in the locality, thereby increasing survival rates by up to 26%. Brendan’s courage has been recognised locally and nationally and he has appeared on Morning Ireland and The Afternoon Show on RTE 1 with Daithi O’Se and Maura Derrane. The four Distinction Award Winners were: Darren Burns, Tralee; Clodagh Curran, Valentia; Sarah Finnan, Glenflesk and Ross Sugrue, Tralee. The four 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 2015 was presented to the Tralee Branch of the Irish Red Cross. Twenty six Merit Award Certificates were also presented to: Mutaz Almusawi, Killarney; Owen Barry, Killarney; Roisin Casey, Castleisland; Chelsea Coffey, Killarney; Faolán Dáibhís, Ballyferriter; Paddy Flynn, Cordal; Abigail Graham, Fossa; Leanne Hannafin, Tralee; Jebin John, Tralee; Finbar Lehane, Kenmare; Eabha Mc Carthy, Tralee; Alan Mc Loughlin, Tralee; Michael Mc Nabb, Killarney; Diarmuid Mullane, Kilcummin; Bobbi Nic Eoin, Dingle; Tara Nic Gearailt, Ballyferriter; Niamh Ní Laoithe, Ballyferriter; Holly O’Donnell, Clahane; Ryan O’Donnell, Tralee; Casey O’Donoghue, Cahersiveen; Katie O’Neill, Kilcummin; Robbie O’Sullivan, Tralee; Sean O’Sullivan, Kilgarvin; Sinead Roche, Killorglin; Leona Stack, Abbeydorney and Shaun Valentin, Duagh. 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.” Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney stated “An Garda Síochána 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.”