FAI Development Officer Jason O'Connor and Dave McPhillips with Irish Homeless World Cup Star Diarmuid O'Connor prior to his departure for Mexico
The 2018 Homeless World Cup kicks off this week in Mexico and Limerick's Diarmuid O’Connor will be part of the FAI squad.
The event provides another opportunity for the Limerick and Irish public to be proud of individuals from our city and country who are moving from a place in their lives where at one point they were socially isolated, to now representing our country and being part of a truly amazing experience.
The Limerick Street League, now in its sixth year, jointly developed and driven by FAI Development Officer Jason O’Connor and David McPhillips of the C.S.M.T. (Community Substance Misuse Team) has proven to be a fantastic tool for social inclusion, improving health and well-being and providing local talent with the opportunity to reach their full potential.
The FAI/CSMT Limerick Street League is an eight week programme played in Delta Sports Dome and funded through Limerick City and County Councils Healthy Limerick and Healthy Ireland initiative. This year it brought together teams from the Travelling Community, Focus Ireland, PALLS (Probation Programme), Cheim R Cheim (Moyross) and St Patricks and McGarry House Hostels in a safe and encouraging atmosphere that has delivered some amazing results.
“Diarmuid O’Connor will be our fifth representative from the Limerick Street League to be capped at international level" added Dave McPhillips,
"In the past Darragh McNamara, Trevor Hogan, Adrian Power and last year Jamie Leahy all brought international honours to our city through the Homeless World Cup.”
Diarmuid, originally from Portlaoise, moved to Limerick over two years ago through Focus Ireland for a fresh start in life after realising Alcohol was having a very negative effect on his life.
“Focus Ireland helped me hugely adds Diarmuid, after completing treatment I was linked in with Focus and moved to Limerick, the local street league was offered through Focus and I jumped at the chance of regular exercise and the chance to socialise safely with others in the same boat”
FAI Development Officer for Limerick City Jason O’Connor holds the Limerick Street League very close to his heart and proudly admitted, “With the help of Mo Foley in Limerick City and County Council, Dave McPhillips and I were in a position this year to add another dimension to the Street League. The Councils funding allowed us to deliver the first FAI Coaching badge to all the participants which has in turn led to them becoming involved in coaching with local clubs and becoming active members of their communities again. Empowering people to become active and rediscover their self-worth is an integral part of the FAI’s community work in Limerick and the Street League has shown again to be a fantastic example of this”
Eddie Madigan originally from Moyross but now living in Cork is another who has made a fantastic positive change to his life and is also part of the squad travelling to Mexico.
All Ireland's games will be broadcast on YouTube with updates provided regularly through Twitter and other social media platforms.