independent

Sunday 17 June 2018

Oberstown campus has Presidential visit

Pictured at the ceremony where both the President and his wife Sabina were presented with portraits created by some of the young people to mark his visit to the campus was from left: Ursula Kilkelly, Chair of the Board of Oberstown, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, Sabina Higgins, and Damien Hernon, Deputy Director Head of Operations Oberstown
Pictured at the ceremony where both the President and his wife Sabina were presented with portraits created by some of the young people to mark his visit to the campus was from left: Ursula Kilkelly, Chair of the Board of Oberstown, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, Sabina Higgins, and Damien Hernon, Deputy Director Head of Operations Oberstown

John Manning

Oberstown Children Detention Campus in Lusk had a very special visitor recently when President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins dropped in to present four Bronze Gaisce Awards.

It is the first visit by the President of Ireland to Oberstown since it became a single campus in June 2016, and the first ever time a President has presented Gaisce awards to young people in Oberstown. To mark the historic visit, a number of young people presented President Higgins with a portrait of the President they had painted in recent weeks.

The four recipients of bronze awards successfully completed their Gaisce challenges over the past 12 months in each of the four categories of community involvement, personal skill, physical recreation and adventure journey.

Chair of the Board of Oberstown, Professor Ursula Kilkelly said: 'We are proud of the young people who are receiving awards today and the staff who guided them on their journey. They have demonstrated that despite their detention, young people in Oberstown can contribute to the wider community by availing of the opportunities on offer, through programmes such as Gaisce.'

Thanking the President for his visit, Professor Kilkelly added: 'For these young people, receiving these awards from the President will be a positive memory they will cherish into their adult lives.'

Director of Oberstown Pat Bergin said: 'These awards are a real testament to each of the four young people receiving them in the campus today. They are role models for what many young people who have come from chaotic and difficult backgrounds can achieve when provided with a safe and secure environment and the supports to flourish. It's a reflection of our commitment in Oberstown to helping young people to address their re-offending behaviour through learning and development, and to hopefully go on to return to their communities and make a positive contribution.'

Fingal Independent

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