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Successful Completion of FAI Late Night Leagues

Successful Completion of FAI Mid-Louth Late Night Leagues in Ardee

The FAI Mid-Louth Late Night Leagues have successfully concluded, engaging more than 100 young people aged 12 to 18 in Ardee.

Held twice a year in May and November, this initiative provides a safe environment for youths to play football during peak anti-social hours.

Originally introduced in Dublin in 2008, the Late Night Leagues aim to reduce anti-social behavior by offering positive social activities. The program also seeks to bridge gaps between young people and An Garda Síochána, fostering community bonds.

Sgt. Andrew Barron and Niall Keenan (An Garda Síochána) alongside Aofie Burns (Dundalk FC) and Niall Newberry (Mid-Louth Youth Service) at the FAI Late Night Leagues in Dee Hub, Ardee.
Sgt. Andrew Barron and Niall Keenan (An Garda Síochána) alongside Aofie Burns (Dundalk FC) and Niall Newberry (Mid-Louth Youth Service) at the FAI Late Night Leagues in Dee Hub, Ardee.

Although open to all, the league primarily targets ‘at-risk’ youths, encouraging positive interactions with law enforcement and local youth workers. Niall Newberry and the Mid-Louth Youth Service team have coordinated the Mid-Louth edition for several years.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the community’s integration and engagement,” Niall said. “The program has grown stronger each year, promoting social inclusion and building bridges with the Gardaí.”

The support from Mick Neville of the FAI, and local Garda members Niall Keenan, Kevin Conway, and Noel Loughran has been crucial to the league’s success.

Last Thursday, a celebration event at the Dee Hub in Ardee recognized participants, with James Murray, Christian McKenna, Bonica Bonescu, and Byron Fay named Players of the Week. CJ Carragher received the Best Team Player award, and Sam Mullen was honored for the Best Goal.

Aoife Burns, Football and Social Responsibility Officer at Dundalk FC, presented a signed jersey to the Mid-Louth Youth Service. “It’s great to see Dundalk FC supporting the community,” Niall remarked. He also thanked Cllr. John Sheridan and Sgt. Andrew Barron for their involvement.

The Mid-Louth Youth Service, along with An Garda Síochána and the Football Association of Ireland, organizes the Late Night League program. Niall highlighted the importance of transportation: “Access to the Garda bus ensured our biggest turnout yet, and thanks to Stephen Fagan for additional transport.”

The free Mid-Louth Late Night Leagues take place at the Fairgreen in Ardee from 7 pm to 9 pm every Thursday in May and November. For more information, contact Niall at mlys@deehub.ie.

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