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Ruane, Lynn

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Order of Business

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10

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Senator Lynn Ruane

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I wish to acknowledge the Homeless World Cup team, which I hosted yesterday in the Members dining area. I thank all who dropped in and said, "Hello". I acknowledge the Ministers, Deputies Ross and Eoghan Murphy, who spent a considerable amount of time with them in the dining room yesterday, all in our efforts to win them over to help us support the Homeless World Cup team and the Irish street leagues to bring the World Cup to Ireland in 2021. Yesterday constituted our unofficial request, I suppose, to the parties and to the staff in the Departments who can support such a bid to bring the Homeless World Cup to Ireland.
The Irish street leagues have operating for more a decade. They have played a significant contribution to the re-integration of those who have often been ostracised within their own communities and have experienced homelessness and addiction. Last year, when I went to watch the women try out for the Women's Homeless World Cup team, I was struck by the fact that I noticed some familiar faces who played alongside me in Sundrive Park when I played for Lourdes Celtic as a kid. In growing up in working-class communities and experiencing addiction and other challenges, their amazing talent was sidelined and they never got to fulfil their full potential as the amazing footballers that they were. I acknowledge the teams that visited yesterday. Hopefully, we can get behind the bid to have the World Cup here. We do not need the Aviva Stadium as it is a street league. A football and Smithfield will do but we need to raise significant funds. I acknowledge them and how well they did in the World Cup, winning the bowl.
I thank everybody who has congratulated me today. Last night, I was quite shocked to hear my name. I was in a category with former President Mary Robinson and thought there was no way I would win. The book is not only about me. It is about my community, stuff that we have experienced and stuff I thought would not be accepted by wider society. I thought I would have a fight on my hands. It was not only acceptance of me and my story but a considerable win for my community to have our experiences, narrative and story as told by someone like me, who felt a huge responsibility to tell it in a respectful way, to have the book acknowledged and to have our histories acknowledged in this way.