- Adult Winner: Emer Halpenny, Stillorgan (Independent College, Dawson Street)
- Adult Runner-Up: Majella Twomey, Islandbridge (Independent College, Dawson Street)
COMMUNITIES MUST REMAIN VIGILANT AROUND HEAD SHOP ISSUE
“Although the Head Shop debate has moved on, communities must remain vigilant to prevent these Head Shops from going underground,” Phillip Keegan
Head shops and budget cuts dominated this year’s ‘Let’s Talk About Drugs’ Media Awards, which are taking place today (June 30th) in Dublin city centre.
The annual Media Awards competition encourages secondary school students and aspiring journalists to research and write original articles about drug-related issues. The two themes in this year’s competition were: “Head Shops – legal but potentially fatal?” and “Tackling Drugs – the real cost of budget cuts?” and the winning articles will be published in local papers from next week.
Speaking on the morning of the ceremony, Phillip Keegan, Co-ordinator of the Greater Blanchardstown Response to Drugs and the Media Awards, said: “Many people decided to write their article around Head Shops, which wasn’t surprising. However, although the Head Shop debate has seemingly moved on, communities must remain vigilant to prevent these Head Shops from going underground.”
This year’s Media Awards winners include an article around Head Shops by 14-year-old Rebecca Murphy from Rockford Manor Secondary School; another Head Shop article by 17-year-old Lisa Murphy from Cabinteely Community School ; teenage siblings from Clonsilla, Uzair Saif Qureshi from the Institute of Education and Sehreen Qureshi from Trinity College, both writing about the effects of budget cuts; Ian McFarlane, age 18, from St. Kevin’s College in Finglas, writing about how Head Shops can give “under-privileged areas” a bad name; Emer Halpenny, a mother of two and Independent College student from Stillorgan writing about the “gingerbread house” appeal of Head Shops and Majella Twomey, a qualified barrister and diploma in journalism student from Independent College asking: “is resistance futile?”
The G.B.R.D have a long tradition of supporting educational initiatives and are welcoming the announcement of a drugs education ‘trading card’ initiative from Sporting Fingal Community Trust at today’s ceremony. The new Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Ken Farrell will officially launch the ‘Stay Onside’ pilot programme later today, which features player profiles with anti-drugs messages from members of the Sporting Fingal Football Squad. Liam Buckley, Director of Football with Sporting Fingal commented: “As a community Club, Sporting Fingal involves itself in various activities to assist in our localities. Through the ‘Stay Onside’ initiative, we’re encouraging children and teenagers to become more active and to get involved in sports, with the goal of diverting them away from unhealthy lifestyles”.
The ‘Let’s Talk About Drugs’ Media Awards are organised every year by G.B.R.D., in partnership with Dublin People Group of Newspapers, Blanchardstown Local Drugs Task Force through the Young Peoples’ Facilities and Services Fund, and County Dublin Vocational Education Committee. All winning entries are free to download from the G.B.R.D. website from today at www.gbrd.ie.