Cork teenagers have been honoured by An Garda Síochána for their contributions to their local communities.
Eighteen-year-old Rebekah Grant from Carrigaline and Sarah Fitzgerald from Kinsale are among 180 young people from across the country who were honoured today at the Garda National Youth Awards. Rebekah won a Cork City Garda Youth Award last November while Sarah was honoured with a West Cork Garda Youth Award earlier this year.
In her citation, Rebekah was described as a “huge positive role model to young people and to all deaf people”. It continued: “Being a deaf person, she has demonstrated that deaf people can do anything. Cork Deaf Association, Deaf Sports Ireland and Irish deaf Women’s Futsal team have been impacted greatly with her positive image and promotion. The youth of the Irish Deaf Community are inspired by her.” She has also represented Carrigaline Soccer Club participating in the Gaylor Cup, Cork League and Cup Championships. She was selected to play with Cork City Futsal Club, UK Deaf Women’s futsal Club and the Irish Deaf Women’s Futsal Cub where she has played in the European Deaf Futsal Championships and more recently the World Deaf Futsal Championships in Switzerland.
Sarah Fitzgerald is described as a book worm, who has written books since the age of 5, and raised €2,500 for the Ronald McDonald House by selling the books at Christmas markets.
Her citation read: “She has developed Book Cloud a ground-breaking research concept which works in a similar fashion to Food Cloud. She has presented a ten-point plan to government and the response has been very positive. Her plan involves getting the public to donate books to the project and they would then recycle them to those kids who would love to read but cannot access such books. One of her proposals to the government, ‘Book Bags, is being piloted at present. This initiative aims to get all kids under 5 a free bag of books to encourage them reading from an early age.”
At this morning’s online ceremony, the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, told the winners: “The Garda National Youth Awards showcases the positive contribution you are all making in your communities. From An Garda Síochána’s point of view, the awards at national and divisional level are a great way for us to develop strong relationships with you and community groups in your area.”
He added: “I hope that you are proud of your achievements. The work you are all doing in your local communities is fantastic and we in An Garda Síochána wanted to let you all know that you have our gratitude. Since the pandemic began, young people have made an outstanding contribution to the countries efforts in stopping the spread of Covid-19 by doing things like making PPE and assisting those self-isolating. I’m sure many of you are and your friends are some of this young people contributing and I again want to thank you for your efforts.”