08 Aug 2022

PHOTOS: Three Laois young people win Gaisce Gold President Awards

Three high achieving young Laois people are among the latest to win the Gold Gaisce President's Award.

The awards were presented by President of Ireland Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.

The Laois winners are Kathy Seale from Mountrath, Miriam Keegan from Emo and Odhran Whelehan from Portarlington.

Kathy's Gaisce Award Partner was the National Learning Network. The personal skill she learned to achieve the Gold was Pyrography. For the physical recreation challenge she did basketball, walking and soccer while her Community contribution was Volunteering at Oxfam. She took on an 80km adventure journey. Her Gaisce Gold Online Residential Project was themed around Global Citizenship.

Miriam Keegans's Gaisce Partner was the Laois Volunteer Centre. Miriam learned Sewing, Weightlifting/ Gym. She volunteered for Laois Water Safety. Her adventure challenge was the Keem Beach to Achill Sound (80km). Her residential was Online Residential in July 2020.

Odhran Whelehan's Gaisce partner was NUI Galway where he is studying for a Masters in Public Policy.  To achieve his Gold he set about learning the Irish language, doing gym work, volunteered in Best Buddies (Charity/Society in NUI Galway), completing a trek from Killarney to Magillicuddy Reeks (80km) and did a Gaisce Gold Online Residential Project themed around Global Citizenship.

In all 79 young people from across Ireland were commended for their outstanding commitment to personal development and contribution to society. It was the first Gaisce Gold Award Ceremony to take place in three years. Combined, recipients invested more than 25,000 hours in personal development and voluntary activities to achieve these awards.

At the height of Covid in 2020-2021, over 40,000 young people aged 14-25 answered the President’s call to pursue a Gaisce Award, supported by over 1,200 President’s Award Leaders in 750 organisations nationwide.

The Gaisce Gold Award is the nation’s highest recognition of a young person’s initiative, achievement, and voluntary contribution to society.

In order to complete a Gold Gaisce, each of the recipients set and achieved their own goals across challenge areas that include personal skill, physical activity, community involvement, team adventure journey and a residential project.

CEO of Gaisce is Yvonne McKenna. 

"Gaisce – The President’s Award is unique in the sense that it encourages young people to set their own personal development goals and contribute to their communities. 

"Every single day, I am inspired by the courage, the energy and the commitment of young people doing their Gaisce Award, and I am so thrilled we are getting to celebrate their achievements. Young people are consistently push themselves for others.

Gaisce – The President’s Award will this month launch a Gaisce Gold Voices Community encouraging all Gaisce Gold awardees from the past 35 years to get involved and renew their commitment to promoting Gaisce values to new generations of young people. Visit

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