The Bohemian Foundation was honoured by outgoing Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha at the 2018 Lord Mayor’s Awards at the Mansion House for their continued excellent work on behalf of Bohemians in the community.
The Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the North Dublin community.
Its many programmes include walking football for both the elderly and disabled, prison rehabilitation initiatives and numeracy classes for children.
The strides made by the Foundation’s volunteers in recent years were key to securing funding from European Regional Development Fund’s Ireland-Wales Programme.
The funding, through the More Than A Club Programme partnership with the FAI, is intended to build on the success of the Foundation and enable it to both consolidate and expand its reach throughout our community with the significant help of two full-time staff, Carina O’Brien and Shane Fox, and part-time staff Ger Coughlan.
Bohemian Foundation co-founders Thomas Hynes and Chris Brien accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation.
Hynes said: “We are very proud to accept this award on behalf of our friends, who help the Foundation carry out our work in the community.
“For any organisation to succeed and grow in the manner the Bohemian Foundation has, you need the right people in the right place at the right time and we are lucky to have that in abundance.
“I would like to thank Dublin City Councillor Larry O’Toole, Jack Gleeson of the Northside People and Denis Cruise, a great friend and supporter.
“Our volunteers – the likes of Dave Woods, Bohemians first-team players Shane Supple and Oscar Brennan – give so much of their time to our prison and schools projects.
“Three of our fellow directors could not be with us at the ceremony. One is comedian John Colleary, who has created innovative programmes for Mountjoy Prison and Focus Ireland, while Stephen Burke and Jeff Conway are in Holland with the Foundation’s 7-a-side team representing Ireland in a European tournament for foundations, which we won last year.”
Brien added: “We thank Mícheál for this award. The Bohemian Football Club asks the community for its support so it is only right that the club supports the community.
“That is why the Bohemian Foundation was set up. Because of the work to date, we have been the recipients of support from the FAI and the European Regional Fund by way of them providing two full-time and one part-time staff to help with our work.
“Carina O’Brien, and her colleagues Shane and Ger, will allow us to extend our reach within the community and expand our programmes over the next 12 months.
“We are continuing as before, but also commencing new programmes.
“We will continue our walking football and our work with the School Completion Programme and with the Department of Justice working with children at risk of becoming involved in crime. We will carry on working in Mountjoy Prison and commence new initiatives in Dochas Women’s Prison.
“Beyond that, we have commenced Double Club football numeracy programme for fourth class primary school children and the Run the Club programme for transition year students as well as Football Memories tea mornings for people with early dementia and memory loss.
“We have a busy year ahead but one we’re looking forward to with great excitement and positivity.”
Everyone at Bohemians wishes to extend our congratulations to all who volunteer and work on behalf of the Bohemian Foundation. We are extremely grateful for all your efforts on behalf of the club and our community.