Garda James O’Mahony will be the first recipient of an award for Social and Cultural Contribution at this year’s Coiste Siamsa Sportstar Awards, which are sponsored by St Raphael’s Garda Credit Union.
The award ceremony will take place at The Malton Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry on Friday, November 21.
The awards are presented to gardaí who have achieved success in their chosen sporting areas, locally, nationally and internationally.
Garda O’Mahony, Garda juvenile liaison officer, is the founder of Kinsale Youth Support Services.
In his dealing with young people he noticed that anxiety and mental health issues were causing them to abuse drugs and commit crime.
He realised that the gardaí alone could not tackle the problem, and with the assistance of other community leaders, founded KYSS.
The organisation employs a youth worker who is available to young people with issues and provided access to counsellors. Garda O’Mahony also founded the Garda Youth Achievement Awards in 1995 in the West Cork region.
These recognise that young people’s contribution to society needed to be acknowledged. The awards have since been adopted by 19 other Garda divisions.
Aidan O’Mahony, a winner of five All Ireland senior medals, is getting an award for his Gaelic Football prowess. He won the latest medal recently when his side defeated Donegal in the All Ireland final. He was stationed at Anglesea Street Garda Station in Cork until recently moved to policing duties in Tralee.
Other winners include Niamh Briggs for rugby, Tipperary hurler James Woodlock, and Michelle Casey who played with the Limerick team which this year captured the All Ireland Intermediate Camogie title.
The winners were chosen by a selection committee chaired by former Munster and Ireland rugby player Alan Quinlan.