SIXTEEN youngsters from St Mary’s Park and the King’s Island have been honoured for taking part in a key project.
There was standing room only at the youth service’s Nicholas Street space as the young people received certificates for taking part in the King’s Island Garda Youth Diversion Project.
In order to get these, the learners completed a diverse range of programmes from healthy cooking, nutrition, personal development, to a drug and alcohol education programme.
The group also climbed Croagh Patrick in Mayo.
Two of the group - Tyreke McNamara and Michael Leo who were among the first to graduate from ischool, which sees children learn online.
Former Limerick FC footballer Tommy Barrett, now a youth justice worker on King’s Island, praised the participants.
“You should be very proud of your achievements. You showed great dedication and commitment to the many programmes we covered,” he said.
Catherine Kelly, director of Limerick Youth Service joined Insp Luke Conlon, of An Garda Siochana in presenting the awards.
The pair echoed Mr Barrett’s praise of the 16 students.
Ms Kelly also paid tribute to the youth diversion project staff and volunteers, including Mr Barrett, Aoife Mangan, Godfrey Rondozai and Mary Mulqueen who was on placement from LIT.
John McNamara, of career and life coaching firm Evolve Life Skills, presented Certificates of Achievements to young people who completed the Personal Development and Life Skills Programme.
“Your dedication and enthusiasm greatly impressed me, particularly last month as we climbed Croagh Patrick on one on the coldest and wettest days of the year,” he said.
The members of the project honoured on the night included Chelsea Bussoli, Delvin Hayes, Gearoid Hayes, Chloe Heelan, Jason Heelan, Michael Hourgian, and Calvin Hughes.
They were also joined by Luke Leamy, Michael Leo, Adrian Mallard, Tyreke McNamara, Jason Sheehan, Amy Waters, Gary Waters, Robert Waters and Stephanie Waters.
The garda youth diversion project is supported by An Garda Siochana, the Irish Youth Justice Service and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.