Professor Shane Kilcommins, who acted as an assessor, attended the first ever Garda National Youth Awards which were held at a ceremony in Portlaoise on 27 April 2019 , recognising over 100 young people from across the country who have made their communities better places to live. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Assistant Garda Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon presented 22 individual and group awards to young people aged between 13 and 21 from across the country, as part of the first Garda National Youth Awards. Speaking at the ceremony in Portlaoise, Mr Flanagan said: "To be recognised as someone who has made their community a better or safer place to live, or as someone who has defied the odds in overcoming difficult circumstances, is really special".
The following awards were available:
Individual Award - Making a positive contribution to their community, making it a better place to live.
Group Award - Group of two or more, making a positive contribution to their community, making it a better place to live.
Special Achievement Award - Overcome difficult circumstances, defied all the odds and whose commitment deserves recognition.
Community Safety Award - Through a crime prevention or safety initiative/innovation, have made their community a safer place to live.
Divisional Garda Youth Awards have proven successful in increasing positive engagement between An Garda Síochána and young people.
Approximately 500 people attend the National Awards in the Midlands Park Hotel.