Young people make a huge difference to family life

By Mary Deenehy

TALLAGHT’s inherent sense of volunteering and caring for others continues to be passed down through generations, with this year’s Heart of Gold winners carrying the baton forward.

Once again, those gathered in the Red Cow Moran Hotel for the Tallaght Person of the Year Awards were moved and inspired by those nominated in the Heart of Gold category.

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Danielle Walsh, Lee Moroney, Tallaght Person of the Year, Mayor Vicki Casserly, Nathan Condren Melia, Conor and Ciaran Carolan

Four young people were nominated for unbelievable acts of caring, kindness and dedication, with all four deemed winners.

Conor Carolan (9), from Avonmore was nominated for helping to care for his older brother Ciaran (13) who has Autism and ADHD.

Ciaran has lots of appointments to attend, to which Conor accompanies him – like the hydro pool, where Conor stays near his brother in case he needs assistance.

Ryan O’Kelly (13), from Jobstown, was nominated for visiting and caring for his great-grandfather, who is in the Croft nursing home in Inchicore.

Ryan’s great-grandfather is 93 and suffers from dementia.

The 13-year-old mostly cycles from Tallaght to Inchicore to visit his great grandfather or sometimes gets the Luas, so he can bring his dog with him.

Dancer Danielle Walsh from Avonbeg was also nominated for her unwavering dedication, commitment and focus – especially at such a young age.

Danielle trains in the Sherry Murphy Academy three times a week, and also does two days of strength, condition and flexibility.

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Tallaght Flag

She was crowned a world champion at An Comhdhail World Irish Dance Championships.

Nathan Condren Melia (10) lives in St Maelruan’s Park and is a proud big brother to Aaron and Abigail.

Those gathered at the awards ceremony were told how Nathan goes ‘above and beyond’ every day in helping to care for Abigail, who has autism, and has done a sibling workshop for learning sign language.

It’s pretty clear that Tallaght’s future is in very safe and caring hands, with this year’s Heart of Gold nominees proving once again that young people can and do make a huge difference in the lives of their families and the wider community.

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