The Westmeath Division Garda Youth awards, a night which paid homage to young people who have overcome adversity or challenging circumstances and recognises those who have made a contribution to enhancing their communities, took place in the Annebrook House Hotel, Mullingar, in recent times.
Individual and group nominations were plentiful with groups from Athlone and South Westmeath featuring prominently during the well attended awards ceremony.
In excess of sixty award entries were received and following a difficult process of adjudicating, the top five nominations in each of the four categories were awarded prizes at the gala night with an overall winner in each category being selected to represent Westmeath in the national competition.
Coláiste Chiaráin student, Fiza Meherban, was the overall winner in the ‘Special Achievement’ category with a notable mention for Vincent Meyer, nominated by the Marist College.
In the ‘Group’ category, nominations were afforded to Moate Community School (Sensory Garden project ) and Garrycastle GAA representatives, Cathal Redmond and Ciara McGovern.
Within the ‘Individual’ category, Adam Samuels received due nomination from the Marist College, while in the ‘Community Safety’ category, there was notable mentions for the Athlone Community Training Centre (Anti-Litter project ) and Aoife Moloughney who received her nomination courtesy of the Athlone Institute of Technology Students Union.
Those in attendance were then treated to a presentation by Mr. Gerry Duffy who is widely known for his completion of 32 Marathons in 32 counties in 32 days and other significant endurance events. He spoke with regard to motivation, goal setting and special achievements to the participants and their parents and especially their nominees, under whose facilitation the young people nominated were able to achieve their goals and as a result were selected for special mention.
The annual event closed with remarks and thanks from Inspector Michelle Baker, Athlone Garda Station, Chairperson of the organisation committee, who afforded due appreciation to event sponsor, Lidl, and thanked the nominees and the nominators without whose assistance this great event would not be possible.