National partner profile: Ireland


Socially excluded men between 16-40 years old


Cities all over Ireland including Cork, Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, Longford, Galway, Port Laoise, and Wexford

Irish Homeless Street Leagues


Irish Homeless Street Leagues use the power of sport to transform the lives of individuals from underprivileged, poorly educated, socially excluded, and conflicted communities. The participants are men between the ages of 16 and 40 years. IHSL operate more than 10 leagues countrywide, with two in Dublin alone. They also run programmes in Wheatfiled prison and Mountjoy jail in Dublin.

Team Ireland’s national ambassador is Paddy Barnes, two times Irish Olympic bronze medallist in boxing.

Player profiles & Stories

Irish team 2015 Amsterdam

Team Ireland Ready to Take Global Stage

The commitment of all the team members is evident, with early morning practices and rigorous training, the team is on their way to a great tournament


2015 Homeless World Cup Rankings Announced

Sixty-Four Teams to Attend Amsterdam Homeless World Cup


Boxing and Football Fighting Homelessness in the Republic of Ireland

The national ambassador of the Irish Homeless Street Leagues (IHSL), the Homeless World Cup partner in the Republic of Ireland, is boxer Paddy Barnes

Mission statement


Irish Homeless Street Leagues use the power of sport to transform the lives of individuals who have encountered difficulties and fallen on hard times. Their programme is about rebuilding lives, and using sport as a catalyst for change. It is about boosting self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-discipline

They empower individuals to take responsibility for their own futures with confidence.

Goals for the future

Capacity Expansion

To increase the number of local leagues across Ireland


To provide more coaching training programmes


To provide those who have attended the Homeless World Cup with other goals to work towards, such as higher-level coaching qualifications

Additional information

Football Activities

Weekly football sessions, access to F.A.I. Coaching and Refereeing courses, an annual national tournament, and Homeless World Cup team selection

Team selection

A panel of players is selected at the all-Ireland annual tournament, from which the team to represent Ireland is chosen.

Non-football services

Personal development work, life skills training, and referral to education, employment, and housing services

Participants challenges

Participants deal with rough sleeping, asylum or refugee status, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, long-term unemployment, and learning disabilities. Some are ex-offenders or currently in prison. Most lead chaotic lifestyles with little access to sporting activities.

Country challenges

Since the 2008 economic crash, the percentage of people in consistent poverty has increased by 100%. Austerity measures have had a very negative impact, and almost 1.4 million Irish residents (30% of Ireland’s population) have been forced to endure enforced deprivation - a state of not being able to afford basic necessities such as adequate heating and two pairs of shoes (RT News, 2015; Combat Poverty Agency, 2015)

Homlessness definition

A person is homeless if: a) there is no accommodation available which he can reasonably occupy; b) he is living in a hospital, county home, night shelter or other such institution because he has no accommodation; or because he is unable to provide accommodation from his own resources (The Housing Act, 1988).

Homelessness Statistics

According to the 2011 Census, 3,744 people were in accommodation providing shelter for homeless people and 64 people were sleeping rough. Focus Ireland estimates that there are around 4,500 people homeless at any given time. More than 65,600 people are considered to be unable to reasonably meet the cost of accommodation (FEANTSA, 2012).

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