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Bohermore fathers band together to provide a new outlet for kids


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Bohermore fathers band together to provide a new outlet for kids Bohermore fathers band together to provide a new outlet for kids

A group of dads have come together to set up a youth club in Bohermore, which has sparked a rapid transformation of the city neighbourhood.

Instead of kids hanging on street corners creating a hotspot for antisocial behaviour, up to 50 boys, aged six to 21, are lining up three evenings a week to attend the Bohermore Youth Matters Club.

Operating since late November, activities range from exercise sessions, boxing, soccer to pool, cards and discos. Every Tuesday evening a group have started to hand out sandwiches, soup, tea and coffee to the homeless community from a marquee erected on Eyre Square.

Before the group set up in the Bohermore Community Centre, there was very little happening apart from an afterschool homework club.

Now boys attend — separated by age — on three nights, with a girls’ group about to start on Friday evenings run by local mothers. There is a men’s social night taking place on Fridays and a women’s night on Mondays.

There was a massive community turnout for a Christmas party with the guest of honour, Santa, arriving by limousine, while the first Mass in many years said at the hall attracted 120 locals just before Christmas.

Guest speakers who have attended the club so far include an education officer giving out practical information about how school leavers can apply for apprenticeships.

The brainchild of Bohermore dads, including Kevin Ward, Jason Ward, William Browne and Derek Ward, the club is supervised by volunteers who are keen to give their kids something to do in the evenings, explained William Browne.

“Bohermore has got a lot of bad publicity, especially since that stuff in the Galway Shopping Centre, but antisocial behaviour can happen anywhere if they’ve nowhere to go to play pool, darts, nothing to do to but stand on a corner and other young lads come and other things happen,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

Pictured: Peter McDonagh, Volunteer, William Browne, Secretary, Kevin Ward, Chairman, Derek Ward, Head Coach and Jason Ward, Vice Chairman, at Bohermore Youth Matters Club. Photos: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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