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Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny uses PFAI awards speech to highlight homelessness

The Lilywhites manager spoke passionately about homelessness in Ireland after being named Premier Division Manager of the Year.

Kenny won Manager of the Year for the fifth time in six years last night.
Kenny won Manager of the Year for the fifth time in six years last night.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

DUNDALK MANAGER STEPHEN Kenny made an impassioned speech about the plight of homelessness in Irish society on Saturday night, highlighting the hard work done each year by the Irish Street League and Homelessness World Cup.

The Dubliner was speaking after being named Premier Division Manager of the Year for the fifth time in six seasons at the annual PFAI award ceremony at the Marker Hotel.

After picking up the award following a season in which his side claimed the league and FAI Cup double for the second time in four years, Kenny focussed on non-footballer matters, praising the voluntary work conducted by people like Sean Kavanagh and former League of Ireland winner Thomas Morgan. 

fullsizeoutput-b0f_1_orig Sean Kavanagh (back row, second from right) and Thomas Morgan (back row, far right) with the Irish team which played at the Homeless World Cup this year.

“I think it was 17 years ago, Sean Kavanagh from the Big Issue contacted me about the Homeless Street Leagues and I think one of the things they’ve really done successfully over the years is the Homeless Street Leagues,” Kenny said.

Thomas Morgan is captain of the homeless team now in Mexico at the World Cup. I think the women’s team were honoured in the Mansion House recently and the work that Sean Kavanagh and all the volunteers do in the leagues, I’ve just tremendous admiration for them.

“There’s a lot of great volunteers and their names are never mentioned, but they volunteer and they give up their time and they help people. The whole idea of the Homeless World Cup is that you can only represent Ireland for one year because you’re hoping that’s all it ever is.”

DrrUVD0W4AAgkvO Kenny was named Premier Division Manager of the Year at last night's PFAI awards in Dublin.

Kenny continued: “[Homelessness] is becoming a much bigger issue. Unfortunately [there's] more participants than ever. I think when you talk about real heroes in society, you talk about Fr [Peter] McVerry and the work that he does. He calls for the Government to act like this is a national emergency.

“You’re talking about [people living in] hotel rooms. We could come here even three or four years ago, and pay €300 or €400 locally for a hotel room. Tonight for anyone, its 300 quid and if you’re homeless, what chance have you got?

“It used to be people with addictions [but] now it’s normal families who can’t afford their rent. I think it’s a massive issue and the fact that it’s not being treated as a national emergency as Fr McVerry suggested is a big disappointment.”

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