On Wednesday 4th December, more than 30,000 hours of commitment and dedication by young people were recognised at a special ceremony held by Gaisce – The President’s Award in Dublin Castle. Patron of Gaisce and President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, presented 77 inspirational young people from across Ireland with their prestigious Gaisce Gold Awards.Six such Awardees presented with their Gaisce Gold Awards hailed from Kerry. Awardee Jaison Hellstrom completed his Award with The Green CBS. Awardees Cian Lynch, Dónal Breenan, Gavin Moriarty, Grace Lynch and Timothy McGrath completed their Award with Kilorglin Community College in Kerry. The ceremony was MC’d by the inspirational Sinéad Burke, teacher, writer, broadcaster, fashion-admirer and advocate for disability.
Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25, which is proven* to enhance confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical, community and team challenges. It is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to all young people to dream big and realise their potential.
Speaking about the Gaisce Gold ceremony Yvonne McKenna, Chief Executive of Gaisce – The President’s Award said, “I heartily congratulate this year’s Gold Awardees who have shown incredible fortitude in achieving their Gaisce Gold Award. Achieving a Gaisce Award is a marker of each Awardee’s determination to realise their ambitions. I hope that in the challenging times which life can often present, they are encouraged by the memory of this moment where all their endeavours were recognised and celebrated. There is a lot more in each of us than one might think.”
This year’s Awardees hail from 17 counties and 42 Gaisce Award Partners (who deliver the Award programme). Since its inception in 1985, over 190,000 young Irish people have received a Gaisce Award, including former Rose of Tralee/Irish MEP Maria Walsh and Irish rugby international and Connacht player Robbie Henshaw.
Gaisce – The President’s Award celebrates 35 years in existence next year and is looking for people to share their memories/stories of their own Gaisce journey. If you would like to share your Gaisce story, please visit Gaisce.ie and click on the story portal.