GARDA AWARDS: Kayleigh Williams, Eabha Murphy, John Banuta and Sarah Cantolin pictured at the launch of the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2019. Photo: Domnick Walsh

The annual Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2019 was officially launched on Friday to celebrate the good work of youth in the community.

Aimed at ages 13 to 21 years, the awards recognise the great contribution young people have made and continue to make to their communities in Kerry.

They will be presented with their awards at a celebratory ceremony in the Ballyroe Heights Hotel, Tralee on Friday, January 24, 2020.

This year 20 Merit Awards will be presented to individuals who have made a positive contribution to their community and make it a better place to live. A Group Award will also be presented to groups of two or more people who have made an impact to their community. The Special Achievement Award will be presented to an individual who has overcome difficult circumstances, has defied all the odds and whose commitment deserves recognition. A Community Safety Award will be presented to an individual who, through crime prevention or a safety initiative/innovation, has made their community a safer place to live. The Overall Winner of the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement 2019 will also be presented.

“It is so important to recognise that the youth of this country are the future and they have something to say and that we within an Garda Síochána should be prepared to listen too,” Chief Superintendent Eileen Foster said.
“It is important to recognise their excellence in the area of sports, arts, culture, charity or caring for a relative or friend. The awards have a positive effect on our wider community and I would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to Lee Strand for their continued sponsorship and support over the past 22 years.”

John O’Sullivan, General Manager, Lee Strand added that Lee Strand has a strong commitment to supporting initiatives within the local community.
“The awards provide a great opportunity to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the young people of Kerry, who have made a positive impact within their local community.”

The closing date for receipt of nominations is Monday, December 9. Any member of the public can nominate a young person whom they feel has made a contribution to their local area. Nominations are accepted from individuals, community and voluntary groups, schools and youth clubs/organisation. The winners will be selected by a panel of judges who are community volunteers from around the county under the chairmanship of Chief Superintendent Eileen Foster. Nominations are available from any Garda Station in Kerry; KDYS office in Tralee, Killarney and Listowel or by contacting Tralee Garda Station on 066 7102311. Nomination forms are also available to download on www.leestrand.ie.