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Garda Youth Award recipient, Ciara Bogue from Ballinlough getting her award from A.C. Garda Ann-Marie McMahon and Lord Mayor of Cork, Tony Fitzgerald at the Garda Youth Awards at the Rochestown Park Hotel. Pic: Gavin Browne
Garda Youth Award recipient, Ciara Bogue from Ballinlough getting her award from A.C. Garda Ann-Marie McMahon and Lord Mayor of Cork, Tony Fitzgerald at the Garda Youth Awards at the Rochestown Park Hotel. Pic: Gavin Browne
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Youth recognised for their work across city

YOUNG heroes of Cork were honoured by gardaí at an annual awards ceremony in the city last night.

A young girl who saved a 13-year-old from drowning was awarded one of eight Garda Youth Awards.

Clodagh Hayes, aged 13, was commended for her fast acting and quick thinking on May 7, 2017, when she dived into the river by the Marina in order to save the life of a 13-year-old boy.

Clodagh told the Evening Echo it was a privilege to receive a special Youth Award from the Cork City Garda Division.

“In years to come I know I will look back on this day and realise how special and important it was and how grateful I am to receive it.” With regards her selfless and brave act, Clodagh said it had been a split second decision that she had made instinctively.

Clodagh Hayes, Lee Rowing club. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Clodagh Hayes, Lee Rowing club. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
“I guess in a split second, I just thought I could change a person’s life, I wasn’t going to let someone just die in front of me.” Other Garda Youth Awards given out on the night included a sports award which was accepted by GAA and soccer star Saoirse Noonan.

Saoirse said it had been an amazing week after winning the Women’s FAI Cup with Cork City women’s team on Sunday and then receiving this award.

Saoirse said it was “an honour” to be chosen for the award and said this week had been one that would be difficult to top.

Four other awards and a group award were also given out on the night to worthy winners.

Jennifer Kavanagh, Kayleigh Walsh, Jordan Madden, Elisha Twomey, Ciara Bogue were all acknowledged as outstanding young people as well as the Bishopstown Youth Project, who received the group award.

Elisha Twomey, the daughter of Cork Penny Dinners veteran volunteer Catriona Twomey, was recognised for her charitable contribution to the city at the Cork City Garda Youth Awards held at Rochestown Park Hotel.

 Award recipients, Elisha Twomey,Farranree; Kayleigh Walsh, Mayfield; Jordan Madden, Blackrock and Jennifer Kavanagh, The Glen.

Award recipients, Elisha Twomey,Farranree; Kayleigh Walsh, Mayfield; Jordan Madden, Blackrock and Jennifer Kavanagh, The Glen.

Elisha, who is a fifth-year student at St Vincent’s secondary school, said she was delighted to receive the award.

“I remember going in there (Cork Penny Dinners) when I was younger, peeling the potatoes and over the years then I kept going back in, because I love it, during the summer and on weekends,” she said.

Elisha said her mother, Catriona, was a huge role model for her and she looked up to her loads regarding the work that she did for others.

Another winner on the night was Jordan Madden, who volunteers a lot of his spare time to help others, including attending The Hut in Gurranabraher and the Friendly Call service at Churchfield.

Mayfield’s Kayleigh Walsh was also recognised for her contribution to society including setting up two mini-companies that led to the inventions of a firebrick that controls the loss of heat in our homes and another company involved in saving the use of water.

Another award was given to Jennifer Kavanagh from The Glen.

 Recipients, from the Bishopstown Communtiy Youth Project, Kyle Murphy, Jamie Conlon, Marcus Waldock, Ian Kiely, Ashton O’Keeffe and Kevin McCarthy at the Garda Youth Awards at the Rochestown Park Hotel last night. They were acknowledged for developing a community garden.

Recipients, from the Bishopstown Communtiy Youth Project, Kyle Murphy, Jamie Conlon, Marcus Waldock, Ian Kiely, Ashton O’Keeffe and Kevin McCarthy at the Garda Youth Awards at the Rochestown Park Hotel last night. They were acknowledged for developing a community garden.

Jennifer was described as an inspirational young adult who was a caring, compassionate young person.

Jennifer has worked tirelessly on a number of projects including working on Mental Health Awareness with Youthreach, and promoting anti-bullying.

Ciara Bogue was also awarded a Garda Youth Award for her work with the Ballinlough Youth Club where she helps plan fun nights for 200 children in the community.

The Bishopstown Youth Project received the group award last night for their work developing a community garden in the local area.

Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald said it had been a fantastic night at the Rochestown Park Hotel to celebrate young people’s skills and talents and their achievements in their communities.

“These people are great ambassadors for the city.”

Speaking about the Garda Youth Awards, Mr Fitzgerald said it was a fantastic way to honour our young people.

“It is important to give them every credit they deserve and for them to know that we are proud of them and wish them every success in the future.”

Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said it was a most enjoyable evening celebrating the marvellous talent that Cork city has to offer.

“The fact that young people are contributing so positively to the communities and indeed to their peers is fantastic and the influence that will have on their own lives as well as to family and friend around them is immense and unquantifiable.

“We are delighted to be associated with such a great evening where 200+ people have come together to enjoy themselves and celebrate these young people.”

Chief Supt McPolin said he thought these awards gave these young people an extra confidence in their ability, self-esteem and relationship with their peers.

The Garda Youth Awards are a bi-annual event that celebrates the achievements of young people in the city. Anyone can nominate a young person for the award.

The Evening Echo is a long-standing sponsor of the awards.