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Call for nominations for the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2023

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Lee Strand and Kerry Garda are delighted to launch the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards 2023.

The awards are held for youths between the ages of thirteen and twenty-one years and recognise the great contribution young people have made and continue to make to their communities in Kerry. The awards will be presented at a celebratory dinner awards ceremony in the Ballyroe Heights Hotel, Tralee on Friday, September 29.

This year twenty Merit Awards will be presented to individuals who have made a positive contribution to their community and make it a better place to live. A Group Award will also be presented to groups of two or more people who have made an impact to their community.

The Special Achievement Award will be presented to an individual who has overcome difficult circumstances, has defied all the odds and whose commitment deserves recognition. A Community Safety Award will be presented to an individual who through crime prevention or a safety initiative/innovation has made their community a safer place to live. The Overall Winner of the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement 2023 will also be presented.

Chief Superintendent Padraic Powell stated ”It is fundamental that the youth of this country are recognised for the crucial role they play in the future of our Society. An Garda Síochána is committed to ensuring this is reinforced via the Garda Youth Achievement Awards in collaboration with Lee Strand. It is essential that we recognise their excellent contribution to society in areas of sports, arts, culture & charity and also in the way they may selflessly and lovingly care for a relative or friend. These awards have a positive impact on our wider community in celebrating the achievements of such outstanding young people and I would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to Lee Strand for their continued sponsorship and support.”

Gearoid Linnane, CEO, Lee Strand stated “Lee Strand has a strong commitment to supporting initiatives within the local community and we are delighted to support the Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards for 26 years since its commencement in 1998. The awards provide a great opportunity to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the young people of Kerry, who have made a positive impact within their local community.”

The closing date for receipt of nominations is Friday, May 26. Nominations are available from any Garda Station in Kerry or are also available to download on www.leestrand.ie/garda-awards/

Any member of the public can nominate a young person whom they feel has made a contribution to their local area. Nominations are accepted from individuals, community and voluntary groups, schools and youth clubs/organisation. The winners will be selected by a panel of judges who are community volunteers from around the county under the chairmanship of Chief Superintendent Padraic Powell, An Garda Síochána. For further information contact: 066 7102300

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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