John Joseph Devaney, Kiltimagh, recieving his award from President Michael D. Higgins

Three young Mayo people presented with Gaisce Gold Awards

THREE Mayo people have been presented with prestigious Gaisce Gold Awards.

John Joseph Devaney completed his award with St. Louis Community School, Oisin Gannon completed his award with Ballinrobe Family Resource Centre and Maeve Upton completed her award with Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone.

Since his first inauguration in 2011, President Higgins has been a strong supporter of the Gaisce programme.

As part of his focus on active citizenship and the promotion of a more inclusive society, the President has paid tribute to Gaisce Awardees for their community work and their support for civil society groups.

The President has also praised the President’s Award Leaders, who he said play a pivotal role in guiding the young people in the development of their talents and encouraging them to contribute to the betterment of society.

This year’s award recipients hail from 17 counties and 42 Gaisce Award Partners.

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.

Gold Awardees have been partaking in a broad range of activities while undertaking Gaisce such as teaching coding to young kids, sailing around the Irish coast, learning Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical Dancing), walking the Camino, partaking in Suisha Inclusive Arts for children with autism, improving their Irish in the Gaeltacht and helping out with local charities such as St. Vincent De Paul and Irish Cancer Society.

Each nominee successfully completed five challenge areas as part of their award.

They dedicated an hour a week for 52 weeks across three challenge areas– volunteering with a charity or community group, developing an existing skill or learning something new, and becoming more active through sport or exercise.

Awardees have also completed a four-day adventure journey while discovering the great outdoors as part of a team and broadened their horizons on a five-day residential project outside of their usual community.