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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 18 February, 2019
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Bohemians have invited up to 80 Direct Provision Centre residents to attend Dalymount Park tonight

Between 60 and 80 residents of Direct Provision centres across Dublin will be welcomed to Dalymount Park as guests for tonight’s game against Drogheda United.

Image: Tom Beary/INPHO

BOHEMIANS HAVE INVITED up to 80 residents from Dublin Direct Provision Centres to attend their Premier Division game against Drogheda United tonight.

Between 60 and 80 residents from the Finglas, Clondalkin and Leeson Street centres will attend the game at Dalymount Park as guests, with the event being jointly organised between the Bohemian Foundation, Bohemian FC and MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland).

In making the announcement, Lucky Khambule of MASI said that the decision showed sport’s role to unite.

There is nothing in this world that unifies people more than sports. Football will be the winner on this day.

“As invited guests, we are looking forward to mixing with supporters and adding our voices to cheer on Bohemians. We hope everyone who comes along will enjoy their day.”

Kevin Brannigan of the Bohemian Foundation – an independent non-profit organisation which aims to improve the well-being of the club’s North Dublin community - said that football had the capacity to bring all members of society together.

“In Ireland, sport and football in particular holds a key place in the national consciousness”, he said.

“It brings people together at a national and local level every weekend in parks and stadiums across the island. Here at Bohs, we want to bring football fans who are currently in Direct Provision into this fold.

We view these new fans as integral parts of the ‘new Ireland’ and we want to show them that Bohs and football in general holds the door open for them to take their place amongst us on the sidelines, in the terraces and on the pitches.”

Bohemian FC have previously worked with the Irish Refugee Council to highlight the conditions of those living in Direct Provision. The club also unveiled a “Refugees Welcome” mural in Dalymount Park in 2015.

Club President Chris Brien said: “People of many nationalities now call Ireland ‘home’ and as Dalymount Park is the traditional Home of Irish Football, we want to let them know they are always welcome to join us here as equals and as part of our club and community.”

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