JOHN Delaney, chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), was in Limerick this week to present tickets to parents and staff of the Bedford Row Family Project for the Republic of Ireland v Serbia match, which took place in Dublin last night.
Delaney visited Bedford Row on Tuesday, where he commended the work of volunteers involved in community and sports groups in Limerick city.
He said: “We do a lot of community work and that’s very important to us. If you’re building a house you build the foundations first and the chimney is at the top of the house.
“Declan Considine [FAI development officer for Limerick] is working with Bedford Row who do tremendous work for the kids. One guy spoke to me about his child being on this project and he told me about the boy’s enthusiasm for going to the Aviva.
“If you’re rowing a boat and you’re rowing on your own it takes a long time. If you row against each other you don’t get there, but if you work together on the same mission you can achieve a lot.”
Mr Considine has been working closely with the Bedford Row Family Project in his role with the FAI and he spoke of the importance of sport in giving children a positive social engagement.
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to John Delaney for making people’s dreams come true. This can help to put them on the right road.
“As a young lad I was touch and go what way I’d turn out; my love of sport kept me level headed. Also, without the support of FAI Regional Manager Tom O’Shea I wouldn’t be here.”
Project leader Larry de Cléir said that the enthusiasm and dedication of Mr Considine made it possible for the group to get tickets to the Ireland match. He added that members of the Bedford Row Family Project are striving to display positive aspects of the prison service.
“We have been looking forward to getting tickets for a long time and that was made possible through our relationship with Declan Considine and through the generosity of the FAI and the regeneration project for enabling football in children’s groups. A person who is enthusiastic will make an impact on children and Declan is very enthusiastic.
“Ours is a unique project in that we are not confined to one community. You might usually associate prisons with kicking people away but we know another side to the prison service.”