On the evening of the 24th of November in Woodlands hotel, Waterford, De La Salle Scout group was honoured with a mayoral reception from Mayor of Waterford City, Cllr. Pat Hayes. The mayor spoke about De La Salle’s long history of community involvement in Waterford City and the way in which the Group has nurtured thousands of young people in De La Salle’s long history. The Chief Scout, Michael J. Shinnick kindly attended and spoke about the strength and depth that De La Salle possesses. There were a couple of surprises through the night in the form of awards to long serving leaders.

The "Oh why me!" moment just after Paschal realises that he was stitched up and is about to receive his Cú Chulainn award.

Paschal receives his award

Congratulations to Paschal Guilfoyle who received the Cú Chulainn award and was inducted in to the Order of Cú Chulainn. Paschal is a true old salt in every sense of the word, not only in De La Salle but County wide and nationally. Paschal’s imaginative and progressive programme ideas has revolutionised many aspects of scouting both locally and nationally. Paschal’s award brings the total number of Cú Chulainn awards to 8 that De La Salle currently have, more than any other Scout Group in Scouting Ireland.

The Chief Scout addresses the congregation

Congratulations also to Colm Ennis who received the Gold Honour Award for the bravery he showed during a harrowing time in the Dolomite Mountains in Northern Italy. He and his brother Aidan were undergoing their last abseil on descent when there anchor gave way causing the two mountaineers to fall approximately 20 metres to rock and ice below, this fall seriously injuring both men. Colm had attempted to call the local mountain rescue 60 times before getting though due to signal issues. Colm and Aidan are still recovering from their ordeal, which happened in early summer 2011. This is the first ever award of its kind to be presented in the history of Scouting Ireland.

Colm Ennis is presented with the Gold Honour Award

Brothers in arms, Colm and Aidan Ennis.

Hazel Murray received her Chief Scout award on the same night and was a worthy recipient of such a prestigious award. Hazel wrote about hiking in her log and this skill contributed to her patrol winning the Phoenix Challenge in 2009.

The Chief Scout presents Hazel Murray with her Chief Scout Award.

And finally, congratulations to Mary Keane who received a ten year service award for scouting, a very worthy scouter.

Mary Keane receives her ten year service award.

The 24th of November 2011 will surely go down in the history of De La Salle and it is pleasing to know that scouting is still alive and kicking in Waterford.

Pictured from right to left are Paschal Guilfoyle, Seamus Purcell (Group Leader) and Colm Ennis.