Irish Prison Service Mark Graduation Ceremony For 20 Prisoners.

The Irish Prison Service, in partnership with the FAI and St. Patrick’s Athletic Football Club, today marked the graduation ceremony for 20 prisoners who have recently completed the FAI Coach Education department’s Adult Amateur Licence course.

The course was led by St. Patrick’s Athletic Director of Football and UEFA Pro Licence holder Ger O’Brien and will enable all licence holders to coach in the Adult Amateur game and integrate into Irish football on their release.

Republic of Ireland Under 21 manager Jim Crawford in presenting each successful candidates with their coaching licence stated, “Football can be such a positive influence in so many lives and we have seen the power of football and the impact it can have on these graduates here today.
I look forward to the coaching journey they have now commenced on. There will be many opportunities for them in football in the future and I wish them well”

St Patrick’s Athletic Director of Football Ger O’Brien led the course on behalf of the club and thanked the graduates for their commitment and willingness to learn through the medium of football and coaching.
Ger stated, “When we were approached by the Irish Prison Service and the FAI about delivering this programme, we were more than happy to oblige. This has been a fantastic initiative from all involved to help educate the participants of both courses.
Coaches from St. Patrick’s Athletic have been working closely with the groups to enhance not only their football knowledge, but also interpersonal skills. The development of the participants throughout the program has been clear
to see”.

The FAI’s Head of Coach Education, Niall O’Regan stated: “The programme is a fabulous way to connect the participants to the game of football, providing them with an introduction to education through the medium of the game they all love, having the link to the prison and using the game of football to help develop the participants knowledge of the game, but also
their own interdisciplinary skills such planning, organisation, administration, writing sessions plans, completing assignments and presenting in front of their peers theoretically and practically.
“These are all huge characteristics of being an effective coach but also helping the participants with their future integration into their respective communities. The success of the programme has been down to the fabulous delivery style of Ger O’Brien and it is something himself and his club should be extremely proud.
We would like to thank Ger and St. Patrick’s Athletic for their contribution and the management and staff of Wheatfield for their collaboration on such a worthwhile project for all concerned”

Assistance Governor of Wheatfield Prison, Amanda Sutton said, “This course is a fantastic gateway into adult education involving both practical and class room based modules. The Irish Prison Service is committed to managing custodial sentences in a way which encourages and supports prisoner’s resettlement and reintegration into their communities.
I believe that the skills learned through participation in this course provides prisoners with some of the core skills required for their successful reintegration. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the FAI and St. Patrick’s Athletic, and working on future projects together.”


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