Irish homeless street league marks 20th anniversary

by Rachel Cunningham
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The Irish Homeless Street League (IHSL) marked its 20th anniversary with an international football tournament on June 8 and 9.

This milestone event took place at Sean Walsh Astro in Tallaght, bringing together teams from across the globe to compete, connect and champion the spirit of inclusion and resilience.

The landmark event celebrated the journey that many members of the homeless street leagues movement have been through over the last 20 years.

Male and female teams from 10 countries, including Spain, England, Poland, Scotland, Romania, Northern Ireland, Wales, Finland and the Republic of Ireland, took part in the event.

Through this tournament and movement, participants have been given the platform to share their journeys which has highlighted the positive impact sport can have on people who are overcoming adversity.

One such participant who took part in this year’s tournament is Graham Mellon, who developed a drinking problem, lost his relationship and custody of his two children and subsequently became homeless.

He has always loved football and used this passion as a catalyst in his path to recovery.

“The Irish Homeless Street Leagues have been a huge part of my life and I will be forever thankful for the part they played in helping me to turn my life around,” said Graham Mellon, who was chosen to represent Ireland at this year’s international tournament. 

“As a football fan all my life, the IHSL has proved to be a brilliant escape from the difficulties I was experiencing on a daily basis and I’ll never be able to thank them enough the help and support they have provided to me.

“Being able to represent Ireland at the international tournament in Tallaght was a huge honour for me.”


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