Ian announced as Overall Winner of the Youth Achievement Awards

Described as an inspiration to all and a true life hero, 17 Year Old Ian O’Connell has been announced as the Overall Winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2018.

Over two hundred and fifty people from across the county attended the Awards ceremony in the Ballyroe Heights Hotel in Tralee on Friday, January 25th. The evening commenced with dinner and was followed by a presentation of twenty four awards, accompanied with an inspiring citation of each winner’s achievements. Twenty Merit Awards, a Group Award, a Special Achievement Awaard, a Community Safety Award and the Overall Winner Award were presented on the night.

17 year old Ian O’Connell from Killarney was described as an outstanding individual, an inspiration to all and a true real life hero when he was announced as the Overall Winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2018. When Ian was 16 years old, he became paralysed from the neck down after falling off his bike in the Killarney National Park. The entire country was inspired by Ian O’Connell’s remarkable interview on the Late Late Show last May. His motto “If I can’t stand up, I will stand out” has made him a national hero for his positive attitude to life. Ian was presented with a specially commissioned crystal trophy and the Overall Winner Certificate to mark his achievement.

The Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Group Award was presented to the Sporting Chance Programme – National Learning Network. The Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Special Achievement Award was presented to Ciarán Sears in Tralee. The Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Community Safety Award was presented Kevin Lenihan, Eamon Nolan and James McDonnell from Castleisland Community College.

Twenty Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Merit Award Certificates were presented to individuals who have made a positive contribution to their community and make it a better place to live. The recipients were Alannah Blennerhassett, Tralee; Oisín Bolt, Killorglin; Ian Coleman Horgan, Killorglin; Zara Daly, Kilcummin; Nathan Egan, Castleisland; Con Enright, Currow Village; Ava Fitzmaurice, Castleisland; Edmond Healy, Duagh; Ellen Hickey, Killarney; Alexandra Kelly, Tralee; Caoimhe Lynch, Beaufort; Ciarán MacGearailt, Baile ‘n Fheirtéaraigh; Cathal McLoughlin, Tralee; Ruth O’Connell, Tralee; Michaela O’Donoghue, Ballymacelligott; Jude Pierse, Ballyduff; Weronika Slomiany, Killarney; Melanie Smith, Blennerville; Rebecca Thompson, Caherciveen and Donald Walsh, Tralee.

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