By Eimear Rabbitt,

Four NUI Galway students were among a group of fifty special young people to receive a golden Gaisce award last week in honour of their work in communities, sports and adventure pursuits.

The four NUIG awardees, Anne Browne from Lifford, Co. Donegal, Fiona Gillespie from Naas, Co. Kildare, Jennifer Jones from Middleton, Co. Cork and Aideen Óg Mac Inerney from Taylor's hill, were presented with the award at a special ceremony in Dublin Castle on Monday last, 19th April.

2010 marks the 25th silver anniversary of Gaisce, which is the National Challenge Awards for young people and this prestigious occasion was made all the more special for the winners who received their award from the president of Ireland, Mary McAleese,the patron of Gaisce.

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In order to achieve the golden Gaisce, the highest award on offer for young people in Ireland, participants set a gold for themselves in four different areas of activity - community involvement, personal skill, physical recreation and adventure journey.

Anne Browne is a fourth year Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy student at NUI Galway. Upon her arrival at the University, Anne joined the Gaisce society and immediately took on the role as treasurer where she organised fundraising events to support the society's trip to Estonia. The objective of the trip was to assist underprivileged locals in different activities such as the regeneration of the Local Park as well as teaching at the local primary school.

As a member of the writer's society, PhD student Fiona Gillespie volunteered at University hospital Galway where she read stories to patients in the children's unit and also encouraged them to write poems and stories of their own.

As a volunteer with the NUI Galway Suas society, Medical student Jennifer Jones worked with the Galway refugee support group for her community involvement challenge. This involved planning and preparing weekly classes for the homework club. As well as this Jennifer gained vital experience by working as a teaching assistant in India and also taking part in a community-building project in Estonia.

Aideen Óg Mc Inerney studying Bachelor of Art History at NUIG, has contributed hugely to the development of the Arts society. She is responsible for organising the arts ball and also developing the society's web page.

NUIG have expressed the pride and joy felt by the University upon hearing the news of the girl's success.

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