This year's Wexford Garda Youth Awards have been officially launched and an additional aspect this time around will see four winners going forward to the National Youth Awards final which will be held in Dublin in April.
This will be the third year the scheme has been run in Wexford, in conjunction with Wexford County Council, and it has proven to be very popular and successful.
The awards celebrate outstanding young people between the ages of 13 and 21 years and a spokesperson for the Gardai said that the force, along with the local authority, recognises that a lot of good work is done by young people throughout the county every year.
Through the scheme awards will be considered for nominated young people who by their presence and actions make their communities a better place to live.
Such is the popularity of the scheme that last year over 80 young people were nominated.
Commenting on the initiative Chief Superintendent Patrick McMenemin said the Gardai are delighted to have the opportunity to acknowledge and highlight outstanding achievements of young people throughout the county.
Chief Supt McMenemin encouraged people all over the county to nominate young people - either individuals or those working in groups - within the stated age category who are living in the county and who have made an outstanding contribution to their community or who have overcome difficult circumstances.
Chief Supt McMenemin also highlighted the importance of building a relationship between young people and the Gardai: 'We recognise the importance of An Garda Siochana in Wexford in building better relations with the young people of the county. We look forward to meeting the award winners and to show our appreciation as an organisation, as a community, and as a county for all their efforts.'
The official launch took place on Monday, October 8, in Wexford County Council's offices in Carricklawn and it's expected the awards night itself will take place in February, 2019.
In launching the awards Inspector Denis Whelan, who is Chairperson of the organising committee, highlighted the success of the scheme to-date.
'This is the third running of the event and it's been hugely successful,' he said.
'It is a great source of delight and pride for all of us at An Garda Siochana to meet these amazing young people who are an inspiration to us all,' he added.
Insp Whelan thanked Wexford County Council for its ongoing support of the initiative and he also acknowledged the support of broadcaster, Alan Corcoran, who has compered the event since it began.
Application forms will be available online at www.Garda.ie and www.wexfordcoco.ie and they will also be distributed to schools and Garda stations throughout the county this week