Leaving Cert student Niall Gosson has been named one of two All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year for his phenomenal community work.
Niall, a student at St Joseph’s Secondary School in Rush, and a local Scout leader, was awarded €1,000 for charity, a gold medallion and a crystal trophy for his school.
The selfless teenager will also go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to compete in the international Spirit of Community Awards finals.
Niall volunteers with Rush Tourism and is supporting Fingal County Council in its efforts to develop a coastal heritage route and a Kenure House trail in Rush.
He single-handedly curated an exhibition in the local library celebrating 700 years of Kenure House, delivering talks at Ardgillan Castle where he volunteers throughout the year.
Niall raised funds to start the heritage trail by selling commemorative mugs and as a result of his hard work maps are now in place in the town to highlight the routes.
Launching the project last year, Deputy Darragh O’Brien (FF) noted that Niall had been collecting for the exhibition since his first year of secondary school.
He added: “Niall deserves a lot of credit for his efforts to bring to life again the lost history of Kenure House – a story that dates back to the Dukes of Ormonde and also the Palmers and their connection to England’s King Charles I and King Charles II.”
Outside of the heritage project, Niall also helps out with his local park run and Scouts group, where he is a Rover leader.
He was nominated for the award by his principal Patricia Hayden and his proud dad Michael said he was the first person at his school ever to win the title.
He told Dublin Gazette: “Niall is thrilled. He’s very grateful to his principal for putting him forward, and to Angela Byrne and Rush Tourism who have helped him with his volunteering since he was 15.”
Michael added: “He is also very thankful to us, his parents, for putting up with all the volunteering he does and for our constant support. He said it was the best way to end the best six years of school with the best year group.”
Scouting Ireland also heaped praise on the young volunteer, as did local Senator James Reilly (FG) who described him as “a young man with a bright future”.
He added: “His community service and constant positive spirit is incredible and to be admired … A young man Rush and Fingal can be very proud of.”