Gaisce golden achievers have the right formula for success

Gaisce Gold Award winner Cathal Seabrook, from Clarehall. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Dublin

Ryan Nugent

Completing a version of the Rubik's cube in 10 seconds and doing the camino four months after tearing a tendon in your knee - that's the level expected to take home a Gaisce Gold Award.

Throw in some taekwondo and you have got the work of Cathal Seabrook (18), from Clarehall, Dublin.

A record 78 inspirational young people have been honoured with prestigious Gaisce Gold Awards at Dublin Castle by President Michael D Higgins.

The President's Award was founded in 1985 and this year's awardees hail from 26 counties and 52 award partners.

Cathal said the award was his "proudest achievement".

The teenager had begun with the Gaisce Bronze Award in transition year in school. He said he was able to fully solve the Rubik's cube by then.

"For Gaisce Gold, I decided to learn the variations of the Rubik's cube," he said. "I figured out how to solve it completely by myself. It took me about a month and a half."

Cathal also completed the camino in Sarria, Spain, a challenge undertaken in March this year, four months after he tore his patella tendon in his knee.

Meanwhile, Abbie Moloney, from Killashee, Co Longford, was awarded for her endeavours in woodwork, swimming and volunteering with young people with special needs.

She also undertook a 60km canoeing expedition from the Royal Canal's Mullingar Harbour to the 46th lock at Clondra Harbour.

Abbie (19) said the items she built were practical for use at home.


Among them were a work bench, a foot stool and a small chair for her dog.

Launching the awards, Mr Higgins spoke about engagement and inclusiveness in communities.

Gold awardees have completed five challenge areas for 52 weeks or more: volunteered with a charity or community group; developed an existing skill or learned something new; become more active through sport or exercise; taken part in a four-day adventure outdoors, and broadened their horizons on a five-day residential stay.