Outstanding young people from Clare have received top honours in a new national awards scheme organised by Gardaí.
At the very first National Garda Youth Awards, three individuals and groups from the county were recognised for work ranging from drug and alcohol awareness to immigrant support.
The awards – which aim to bolster young people’s relationship with the Gardaí – have been running for a number of years at divisional level, and, this year, for the first time, national heats were held.
Clare was the only county to boast three national winners, hailed as inspirational role models.
Clare Youth Action, based in Ennistymon, received a National Group Award for addressing issues including drug and alcohol abuse, mental health problems, bullying and environmental protection.
This year’s Special Award went to Orla Platten from Quin who, despite multiple surgeries and a Downs Syndrome diagnosis, is an active fundraiser for charity and will sit her Leaving Cert in June at Coláiste Muire.
The Individual Award also went to the Banner County and to 19-year-old Razan Abdel Wahen a Syrian Refugee living in Ennistymon.
Razan was described as a ‘treasure in the Syrian Community in Ennistymon’ working in a local primary school Homework Club and summer camps to help children adapt to life in Ireland.
She says the whole community have helped her and her fellow Syrians to adapt to their new life.