The Kilkenny/Carlow Division launched its inaugural Divisional Garda Youth Awards in Carlow last week to celebrate "ordinary young people doing extraordinary things".
The awards celebrate outstanding individuals between the age of 13 and 21 years and will reward young people who - by their presence - make their communities a better place to live or have shown great determination in their own lives.
Hard copies of the nomination forms will become available shortly at Thomastown, Carlow and Kilkenny Garda Stations and forms must be returned by post or by hand by May 31 of this year.
Forms can be given to Garda Elaine Rowe, Juvenile Liason Officer at Carlow Garda Station and she can be contacted on: 059 913 1505.
Also, Gardaí will be attending schools and encouraging people to apply through the online nomination forms which will be live shortly.
The awards night in November will be hosted by Chief Superintendent of the Carlow/Kilkenny Garda Division, Dominic Hayes, and the MC for the event will be RTÉ presenter Evanne Ní Chuillin while hurling legend Henry Shefflin is among those on the judging panel.
The event was officially launched at Netwatch Carlow who have sponsored the Youth Awards along with Carlow and Kilkenny local authorities.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Supt Hayes said: "It's a joint approach. It's about collaboration and working together to ensure each and every community improves.
"The excellence in both counties that we've seen firsthand needs to be rewarded."
He called on family members, members of a club, teachers, coaches, who "everyday see somebody doing something a little bit special, that's out of the ordinary," to start nominating.
The judging panel will then decide upon one nominee in each of the four main categories - which includes a Community Safety Award - to go forward to represent the Kilkenny/Carlow Garda Division at the National Garda Youth Awards.
The other categories are: Individual Award; Group Award and Special Achievement Award.
Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council, Brian O'Donoghue, said it is a "tremendous idea and opportunity to recognise young people".
He added: "I think it's a brilliant idea. For An Garda Síochána to be looking to recognise young people is exactly where we need to be and what we need to see from them.
"It's a pleasure to work closely with our big sister Kilkenny and to have a joined up approach to recognise young people.
"Young people are the future. It's great to be involved and I commend those who came up with the idea."
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