LATE Late Toy Show star Adam King was presented with a special centenary award at the SuperMacs North Cork Garda Youth Awards 2022.
In 2020, the seven-year-old from Killeagh, who has a brittle bone condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, lifted the hearts of the nation during the Covid-19 pandemic with his virtual hug.
Adam was given a special award, marking the centenary year of An Garda Síochána, for his work in raising over €260,000 for Cork University Hospital Charity and Temple Street Children’s Hospital through the sale of his virtual hug cards.
Thanking the organisers for the award, Adam said: “I am very proud of being a role model for younger people and people like me with disabilities,” before signing off with his signature “byeeee”.
The North Cork Garda Youth Awards ceremony, which took place last Thursday night in the Charleville Park Hotel, was told by Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan that the awards formally recognise the good work being done by young people in the area, and highlight the positive aspects of the communities in which those young people live.
“Our young people are our community leaders of the future, and they play a pivotal role in our communities,” Chief Superintendent Cadogan said, adding that this was very evident throughout the pandemic.
In addition to Adam, there were 12 other recipients of awards on the night, with over 50 young people receiving nominations.
The awards covered five broad categories of achievement, including overall awards, district awards, special achievement awards and outstanding contribution to youth awards.
The first group to receive an award was Cuimhni Ceoil, a musical duo of Dromohane’s Bridget Roche and Doneraile’s Aishling McInerney, for their work in playing traditional Irish music – physically distanced - for nursing home residents during Covid-19.
The Big Blue Cube Youth Council, ranging in age from 14 to 18, received an award for their tireless volunteering and charity fundraising in Mallow.
The Young Social Innovators Period Poverty Group from Loreto Secondary School in Fermoy were awarded for their work in raising awareness of the financial burdens faced by some women in accessing period products, and for supplying period products to Cork Simon Community.
Students from St Mary’s Charleville and CBS Charleville were awarded for their Help for Ukraine campaign.
Transition students at St Colman’s CC were recognised for their outstanding litter-picking campaigns.
Ava McKenna from Glenville was awarded for her work with the Cope Foundation.
Meelin’s Diarmuid Lehane was awarded for setting up a system to livestream Masses from his parish church throughout the pandemic.
Rían McGrath, from Coláiste Mhuire, Cobh, was awarded for his outstanding work in co-ordinating a food drive for Cork Penny Dinners.
Jack Dwyer, a student at Davis College, Mallow, and an autism awareness activist, was awarded for his selfless volunteering.
A Special Achievement Award went to Isaiah O’Driscoll, from Buttevant, who has cerebral palsy, for his work as president of the Student Council in Coláiste Mhuire.
Oisin O’Connell from Midleton, received a Special Achievement Award in recognition of his resilience and strength of character in dealing with a devastating illness.
Paul Leavitt Murphy from Buttevant, who has cystic fibrosis, received a Special Achievement Award for winning a gold medal representing Ireland in Taekwondo.
In her keynote speech, activist and journalist Joanne O’Riordan said that the accolade which had meant most to her was not being the first person to receive a standing ovation at the UN, but rather it was her Garda Youth Award. Her speech in Charleville received a standing ovation too.