Members of Killimordaly Kiltulla Foróige Club in Co Galway lifted the top prize at the weekend at the Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards in Dublin.
Lauren Lewis and Rebecca Cannon, both aged 15, were part of the group of nine young people from Galway East who won for their project centred around an awareness and fundraising campaign for defibrillators.
The girls, who have just finished their Junior Certificate exams, are pupils at the Presentation College in Athenry, Co Galway. They said they were motivated by the death of a local woman from sudden cardiac arrest some years ago. “We want to keep pushing out the message that defibrillators save lives as far and as wide as we can,” said Rebecca.
Around 2,000 young people and hundreds of volunteers took part in the awards ceremony. Launched by former All Black Dan Carter earlier this year, the awards celebrate the work of young people in the community.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, struck a huge gong onstage at the Citywest Hotel to mark the start of the ceremony on Saturday.
The young people were also addressed by disability rights campaigner, Joanne O’Riordan and social media expert Darragh Doyle.
The Foróige Youth Citizen Awards, in partnership with Aldi Ireland, empower young people to use their skills, talents, and experience to make a positive difference to their community and society.
Young people identify and undertake projects in their local area and in so doing learn that they can make the world a better place to live.
It is the second year that Foróige, which works with 54,000 young people, has had Aldi as a sponsor of the Youth Citizenship Awards.
Earlier this year, Aldi announced that it would be giving €840,000 to Foróige over the course of its three-year partnership.