Everywhere We Go! – Ireland, June (Donation 90)

By Diane Doig…

The Sunshine Appeal’s 90th consecutive donation was made in Dublin. It was actually a challenge to find a suitable recipient as many of Ireland’s children’s charities are already well
supported but, with the current issues surrounding racism, homophobia and other discrimination in football and sport in general, we chose SARI, Sports Against Racism, Ireland.

SARI are an Irish NGO founded in 1997 and are dedicated to positive integration and social inclusion through sport. Working with schools, Direct Provision centres, refugee and local communities, SARI delivers anti-discrimination educational workshops, intercultural sporting events and a Young Leaders programme, collectively creating opportunities for all. The TASA donation will specifically go towards the running costs of their kids’ football programme in the Sheriff Street area of Dublin. It’s one of the most socio-economically disadvantaged communities in Ireland, so it’s particularly important to nurture youngsters’ interest in
sport and let them understand the importance of positive integration.

The presentation took place at the St Laurence O’Toole Recreation Centre in Dublin, where Irish and Scottish football fans celebrated the two countries’ friendship with a gathering hosted by SARI at which musical entertainment was provided by visiting Scottish piper Mark Love. Others attending included excited local children, aged eight to 13, who benefit from SARI’s Sheriff Street kids’ football programme.

Commenting at the presentation, SARI events co-ordinator Kerrie Clohessy said: “We are so honoured to have been chosen by the Tartan Army for their Irish donation. Everywhere they go, they always choose a children’s charity, so we’ve decided to put their gift towards the running costs of our kids’ football programme in the Sheriff Street area. We’re very grateful to our Scottish friends and we were delighted to welcome them to Sheriff Street today to meet many of the kids who take part in our local football programme there.

Later in the day, the Football Association of Ireland very kindly arranged for us to handover the presentation cheque in the Aviva Stadium in front of supporters and the assorted media before the match. Watched by Ireland World Cup hero Packie Bonner, Neil Forbes and Diane Doig of the Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal presented a cheque for £4000 (€4600) to Kerrie Clohessy, Ken Powell and nine-year-old footballer Logan Grimes, representing SARI.

Logan is one of dozens of children aged eight to 13 who benefit directly from SARI’s Sheriff Street kids’ football programme. An aspiring goalkeeper with dreams of playing for Ireland, Logan was thrilled to be a guest of the FAI today and especially delighted to meet Packie Bonner.

The Irish legend said: “As an Irishman living in Glasgow, I am well aware of the passion of the Scottish and Irish fans and I am delighted to witness the power of football today with this donation from the Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal to SARI. The friendship between our fans has always been great and this is a wonderful gesture by the visiting supporters.”

So another fantastic donation from the Sunshine Appeal to help tackle a problem which is sadly still an issue in 2022 and a donation very much appreciated by the charity.

Click here to see a brief report of the presentation on STV.

And a bit in the Edinburgh Evening News here

Everywhere We Go!