Posted by in News.

Galway’s Shane Lawless announced as finalist for

2018 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards

Shane Lawless from Claregalway, Galway has been recognised for the exemplary volunteer work carried out in his local community as Pramerica announced its 20 finalists for the 2018 Spirit of Community Awards, the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind.

A fifth-year student at Colaiste Bhaile Chlair, Carnmore, Shane became passionate about the care of those less able or fortunate around him after his godmother passed away at the very young age of 36. This inspired Shane to raise €4,000 for The Burren Chernobyl Project. He filled a container full of humanitarian aid through collection points and directly approaching individuals and companies to part with shoes, pharmaceutical equipment and medicine.

Closer to home Shane has been involved for five years with the Claregalway and District Day Care centre assisting elderly citizens, active listening, gardening and playing music. He is also intimately involved the Brian Tumour Support Group Western Region, Galway Hospice and Carnmore hurling club as a volunteer and has achieved Gaisce and the John Paul Award for his commitment to these causes.

“Shane’s efforts across his community and further afield are actively noticed by those around him. He is an excellent student who works hard to stay involved in what’s going on around the school. He has given everything to his endeavours and never seeks recognition for the work he carries out. His application, work ethic and kindness are exemplary,” commented Emma Ryan, deputy principal.

The programme which is run in partnership with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), rewards post-primary students for outstanding acts of volunteerism and the positive contribution they make in their local communities and further afield.

Each year I continue to be humbled by the incredible volunteer work carried out by teenagers and young people in towns and villages across Ireland,” said Andrea McBride, vice president, Pramerica Systems Ireland. “From caring for disabled relatives to helping people with learning disabilities, brain injuries and dementia, so much of the volunteering activities that young people are involved in is going under the radar. Our awards programme aims to shine a light on these dedicated students, by applauding their achievements and encouraging others to give back to their hometown.”

The post-primary students will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion at the awards ceremony on 22nd March at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. This year the top two Junior Honourees will also receive an additional €500 for their chosen charity for the first time. At the event, two of the 20 students will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year, receiving €1,000, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expense paid trip to the United States in May to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.

For more information about the 2018 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, which is supported by Volunteer Now, Volunteer Ireland, Scouting Ireland and Foróige, follow the Pramerica Spirit of Community Snapchat (Pramerica.soc) Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter feed @Pramerica_SOC, or visit

The 20 finalists are:
Áine Sweeney, from Letterkenny, a Fifth-year student at Loreto Secondary School

Aimee Melaugh, a Fourth-year student at St. Mary’s College Derry

Anna Phelan, from Kilkenny, a Sixth-year at Loreto Secondary School

Ariadna Gómez-Kelly, from Westport, a Fourth-year student at Sacred Heart School

Caoimhe Bennett, from Omagh, a Sixth-year student at Loreto Grammar School

Ciana Roberts, from Bangor, a Sixth-year student at Our Lady And St Patrick’s College

Ciaran McGinley, from Derry, a Fifth-Year student at St Joseph’s Boys’ School

Ciaran O’Kane, from Limavady is a Sixth-year student at Loreto College

Diolain Ward, from Derry, a Sixth-Year student from St Joseph’s Boys’ School

Daniella Timperley, from Randalstown, a Sixth-year student at St Louis Grammar School

Éabha McMahon, from Cork, a Sixth-year student at St Angela’s College Cork

Eimear Byrne, from Dublin, a Sixth-year student from St Pauls Secondary School

Elaine Magee, from Lifford, a fourth-year student at The Royal and Prior School

Grace Mawhinney from Belfast, a Sixth-year student at St. Louise’s Comprehensive College

Jessica McMahon, from Kildare, Sixth year student at St Wolstan’s Community School, Celbridge

Michael Carroll, from Tipperary, a Sixth-year student at Borrisokane Community College Borrisokane

Niall Gosson, from Rush, a Sixth year student from St Joseph’s Secondary School

Orlagh Wilson, from Derry, a Sixth-year student at St Cecilia’s College

Rebecca McKersie from Belfast, a Sixth-year student at Ashfield Girls’ High School

Shane Lawless from Galway, a Fifth-year student at Colaiste Bhaile Chlair, Carmore


For further information, please contact Shane Finnegan or Caroline Murphy at Aiken on 02890663000 or or Harold Banks, Pramerica, 973-216-4833.