Michael Staines
Michael Staines

11.50 12 Feb 2020


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Dublin’s Bohemian Football Club have joined with Amnesty International for their new away jersey.

The shirt features an image of a family fleeing war formed with the words, ‘refugees welcome.’ The words “Love Football, Hate Racism” are printed on the collar.

The club has partnered with Amnesty for a campaign to bring an end to the Direct Provision system in Ireland – ahead of the 20th anniversary of its establishment.

Bohs Director Daniel Lambert said football is a “universal language” that can be used as a “vehicle for great good in our society.”

“At the core of the Bohemian identity is inclusiveness and a desire to utilise football as a means to improve our society as a whole,” he said.

“We made the decision to allow our shirt to be used a platform, alongside Amnesty International, to highlight a very real and pressing issue in Ireland today, that of Direct Provision.

“This builds on a deep and lasting relationship we have built with MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland) and through multiple engagements with people living in Direct Provision.”

The club has run several programmes aimed at breaking down the barriers faced by people living in Direct Provision in recent years – including by raising funds to bring them to home games at Dalymount Park.

It also works with MASI to build relationships with people living in Direct Provision through football.

Amnesty is calling on the government to end the Direct Provision system and urgently develop an alternative.


Amnesty Ireland Director Colm O’Gormon said this latest partnership will help mobilise people behind the campaign.

“Bohemian FC and their supporters have an incredible track record on social justice issues.,” he said.

“We’ve long respected the practical solidarity they’ve shown people seeking asylum and refugees, so this is a fantastic opportunity to bring our supporters together to call for an end to direct provision.”

He said the system is an “ongoing human rights scandal.”

“The system is fundamentally flawed, trapping people for years in limbo and isolating them from communities in inhumane, institutionalised conditions,” he said.

“We know there are challenges like the current housing crisis, but this has been going on for 20 years through successive governments.

“We need a new approach, one that protects people’s human rights. The Direct Provision system is hurting people, especially vulnerable groups like victims of torture, and children and families.

“So, no more excuses. This has to end.”


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Amnesty International Amnesty Ireland Asylum Asylum Seekers Bohemian FC Bohs DP Direct Provision

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