THERE were smiles all round at the packed West Cork Garda Youth awards which were held on Friday night in Macroom.
This year, 141 young people were nominated and, as Inspector Brendan Fogarty remarked, both he and his colleagues were humbled by the sacrifices made by so many young people in their community.
Chief Superintendent Tom Hayes told the gathering that he had read all of the 141 nominations and he was very impressed with the quality of the submissions and the activities of so many young people.
"I have no doubt that these young people will be the leaders of the future," said Chief Supt Hayes. He also acknowledged and thanked the support of Supervalu for the last 18 years.
In the overall winners category, Tracey Cronin (18) of Inchigeela, Macroom as well as Conor Corkery (15) of Liscahane, Millstreet were proud recipients of awards. Tracey is an active member of the Liz Lucey Memorial Committee, who fundraise for Marymount Hospice and have raised over €60,000 over the last number of years.
Conor does Trojan fundraising for the Cope Foundation and is a loving brother to his older brother John, who is autistic. He regularly takes John for walks and encourages him to socially integrate to the fullest extent.
In the Kanturk District, Orlaith McAuliffe (17) of Knocknaugh, Kiskeam was also a winner.
She has been an active supporter of and helper at the local senior Citizens group.
She attends on a weekly basis, assisting with preparation of meals, and helps with the cleaning up afterwards.
Ellen O'Leary (17) of Lisnaboy, Cullen was praised for her commitment to the Rathmore Social Action Group, which encourages young adults to take an active part in community life.
Other winners on the night were boxers Michael and Christina Desmond of Lissacreasig, Macroom and Orlaith McDonagh of Sleaveen West, Macroom.
One of the group awards went to the Coachford Positive Mental Health Group, which consisted of Mary Cronin, Amy Ryan and Ciara Conway.