Kinsale duo receive Gaisce awards from President Higgins

December 26th, 2015 7:15 AM

By Southern Star Team

Emily O'Leary receving her award from President Higgins. (Photo: Tony Maxwell)

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TWO Kinsale women were among 47 gold awardees presented with medals by President Higgins at the An Gaisce Gold Award Ceremony in Dublin Castle.

 Among the awardees were Emily O’Leary and Lucinda Wright from Kinsale, who each received Gaisce Gold Awards in recognition of completing the Gaisce Gold Award programme.

 The President Michael D Higgins attended the presentation ceremony to meet the awardees and their families. Former Rose of Tralee and Gaisce Bronze award holder Maria Walsh, was MC for the ceremony.

 Emily O’Leary, a former pupil of Kinsale Community College, undertook the Gold award while studying in Dublin. Amongst the activities she undertook was an 80km hike in West Cork and a residential project which involved volunteering at a holiday camp in Baltinglass in Co Wicklow, which is run by St Vincent DePaul.

 Lucinda from Dunderrow, also a former pupil of Kinsale Community School, travelled to Belarus in order to volunteer with an Irish charity called the Belarussian Orphanages project to fulfill one of the five Gaisce challenge areas and she also volunteered with the UCC Simon society while a student there to help fundraise and raise awareness of the organisation.

  The Gaisce Gold Awardees successfully completed five challenge areas for 52 weeks or more – developing a personal skill, volunteering in their community and participating in physical activity. The awardees also embarked on a five-day outdoor adventure journey and a week-long residential project as part of their challenge.

 The award is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland to young people aged 15-25 to dream big and realise their potential. It is non-competitive and participants are encouraged to choose their own activities and goals with the support of a trained, adult President’s Award Leader (or PAL). The Gaisce programme is delivered by over 1,500 PALs working and volunteering in a variety of organisations across Ireland. There are three levels of Gaisce – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The more time and energy participants give, the greater their reward.

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