AN inspirational Banbridge Academy pupil has become the first Northern Ireland recipient of the ‘Diana Award’ which recognises young people who have made a courageous, selfless contribution to their community.
Enya Doyle (18) was nominated for the award by Kate Carroll, widow of Banbridge PSNI officer Steve Carroll, whose murder prompted the teenager to set up cross-community musical group, ‘Not in My Name’.
The latest award comes just weeks after Enya picked up a Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency prize for the ‘Making a Difference’ celtic ensemble which was established in the autumn of 2009 - six months after Constable Carroll’s murder.
Comprised of intermediate/advanced standard instrumentalists aged between 15 and 18 from both traditions in Lurgan and Banbridge, it was born from a promise Enya made to Kate in a letter penned shortly after Stephen was killed.
The talented music student - who has just been awarded a prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Music Scholarship by Durham University - was disgusted by the killing and rioting which followed in her hometown of Lurgan.
“Our message was simple,” she says. “The killing and destruction was not being carried out in our names and we formed the group as a direct consequence of Stephen’s murder.
“Did we change the mindset of some people? Hopefully we did. We tried to lead by example as young adults and we stood firm by Kate’s side.
“I hope and pray we did make a difference and that many more people, of all ages, will do the same.”
She now hopes to spend her summer helping Kate develop the new ‘Steve Carroll Memorial Fund’ which aims to acknowledge the efforts of young people who make a significant difference to the divided world in which they live.
Assessors in this year’s ‘Diana Award’ described Enya as an “excellent role model” who had the ‘wow’ factor they were looking for, while Kate said she was simply “an inspirational example of young people today”.
Acknowleding the tributes and also the role of the Music Department at Banbridge Academy, Enya was quick to put the spotlight back on the person behind it all. “Steve Carroll is the real hero here,” she added. “He made the ultimate sacrifice protecting my community,”