14 new Order of Malta cadets

DUNDALK Order of Malta enrolled 14 new cadets aged between ten and 16-years-old into the unit at a ceremony on Monday, March 7.

DUNDALK Order of Malta enrolled 14 new cadets aged between ten and 16-years-old into the unit at a ceremony on Monday, March 7.

The youngsters received their enrolment certificates along with their basic first aid certificates at the event, which was attended by 40 people including the cadets’ families and members of the senior unit.

Cadet leaders Gemma Sharkey and Denise Callan paid tribute to all of the Cadets for their hard work over the last few months.

Ms Sharkey said: “They have all been brilliant over the last few months in training; we are so proud of them all.”

The Cadet of the Year award was given to Emmet Kirk - the cadet who performed the best over the year in training.

This year the Cadet of the Year award was re-named the Bridie Boland memorial award, after former Order of Malta volunteer Bride Boland who sadly passed away in 2009.

Speaking about the decision to re-name the award Ms Sharkey said: “Denise came up with the idea about two weeks ago at training and I agreed that it was a nice thought to name the award after Bridie”.

Bridie Boland was a volunteer with the order for almost 30 years until her sudden death in December 2009. She went on the annual pilgrimage over 25 times.

Ms Sharkey said: “All the cadets have been excellent and it was very hard to pick a winner but myself and Denise finally agreed on Emmet who narrowly piped second place Siofia McCrum to the top spot”.

Speaking after the event, Officer in Charge Martin Keenan thanked Gemma and Denice for all their hard work over the past year with the cadets and the senior unit .

Mr Keenan also thanked all of the senior members who attended the Cadet ceremony and helped out on the night.

He also extended his thanks to Paddy Hanratty who came along as a representative from headquarters to present the certificates and to say a few words about the ambulance corps.

The Dundalk Order of Malta Cadet unit is a mixture of both boys and girls from primary and secondary schools in the local area.

The Cadets meet every week and train in first aid as well as educational activities and they also visited the garda station recently.

The Senior meeting takes place on Mondays from 8pm to 10pm. For more information on becoming a member telpehone Martin Keenan on 087-6961011 or visit www.orderofmalta.ie.