25 May 2012
Fitzgerald Presents Prestigious Gaisce Awards to nine Clondalkin Students
Speaking at the event, Minister Frances Fitzgerald, who presented the awards, said it was great to be invited to attend such a positive celebration of local young people. She paid tribute to the students on their achievement and to the staff and parents who had supported them throughout the programme.
Neil O'Gorman, Aiden O'Reilly, Randy Mazingu, Raymond Onwunali, Alexandra, Aionitoaei, Shane Hanevy, Ben Flood, Séan O'Connor and Mohammed Abdullah completed the challenging programme over the course of a year and under the leadership of their PAL Roisin McGowan, who herself was the last Clondalkin student to achieve the prestigious Gaisce medal.
“I know each of you challenged yourself enormously this year and it is a real testament not just to your determination and abilities but also to your commitment to your community and your environment,” Minister Fitzgerald told the nine boys who received the award.
“I hope that you go on to follow in Ms. McGowan’s footsteps and progress to achieve Silver and Gold Awards too. When you get to my age and look back you realise how difficult it is to get medals. Getting a Gaisce, President’s Award Medal is a real achievement and it is something you should all be hugely proud of,” continued Fitzgerald.
The Gaisce Awards are widely recognised awards of achievement in other areas outside the boundaries of the classroom and spans over and beyond the academic expectations which the school system can rely heavily on. The Gaisce Award is composed of four components; personal skill, community involvement, physical recreation and a venture trip.
“There’s no doubt about it we are living through difficult times and it’s you and your peers who are our tonic and our country’s future. It’s my job as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to create, for you, a world of possibility. You have shown us here tonight what you can achieve when you set your mind to it and I have no doubt that those skills you have developed throughout this year will be of huge benefit to you as you progress on to college and begin your promising careers,” continued Fitzgerald.
“In technological 2012 it’s the young people in this very room who are the foundations of Ireland’s upcoming highly skilled workforce. The creators of the next must-have app or multi-million dollar gadget is just as likely to be in this room as in Silicon Valley. Continue to stretch yourselves and challenge yourselves – set the bar high for yourself and for your generation,” concluded Fitzgerald.
Moyle Park College Principal Aidan Clarke thanked the Minister for taking time out of her busy schedule to attend the celebrations and commended her for attending the opening of their mural wall last year. Gaisce Award winner Raymond Onwunali addressed the gathering and paid a moving tribute to the staff of the school and parents of his classmates.