Nine prestigious Garda Youth Awards were presented at last Friday’s annual Kildare Garda Youth Awards, in association with Newbridge Silverware.
The event was attended by a host of dignitaries including MC for the evening, 2FM’s Keith Walsh, an Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Assistant Garda Commissioner Fintan Fanning, Garda Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche, Superintendent Declan McCarthy and Newbridge Silverware’s Martin Kilduff and Marie Brennan.
The overall winner was the exceptional Seán Sheridan from Newbridge. In addition to his extensive GAA work with his club Sarsfields, he also works with local charity, Cara Projects, which runs a girl’s rescue centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The Leaving Cert student also recently graduated from the National University of Galway with a Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action, which he pursued in his spare time.
The Special Achievement Award went to 21 year-old Adam Burke from Two Mile House. While playing for his GAA club on July 20 2016, Adam suffered a catastrophic stroke. His family was told he had a 20% chance of survival. After two weeks in a coma, Adam spent six gruelling months undergoing rehabilitation. His progress astounded doctors. This was due to Adam’s strength of character and his amazing will and determination to get better.
There were seven other award categories presented with The Cill Dara Foxes taking the Group Award. The Cill Dara Foxes comprise of Oisin Michel, Tadgh Nolan and Cain Guilfoyle Shorte, pupils at The Patrician Boys Secondary School, Newbridge; Steven Brien and Brandon Fitzsimons from Kildare Town Community College; Gavin Begley from Newbridge College, and Eoghan McGrath from The Cross & Passion, Kilcullen.
This group gives up their time to inspire and coach a mixed disability tag rugby team. There were also two Garda Youth Awards presented for each division and the winners were Paddy Lynch and Dean O’Connor from the Leixlip district, Lisa Byrne and Ned Carthy from the Kildare district and Lauren Mitchell and Alison Whelan from the Naas district. Each recipient has overcome personal challenges and contributes enormously to their local communities.