Belfast Telegraph

Day of political football for Northern Ireland MLAs

Male and female teams promote reconciliation

By Amanda Ferguson

Politicians are often criticised for not being on the ball, but our MLAs got into the World Cup spirit yesterday during a football competition to help promote good community relations, including for the first time, the female side of the house.

Two MLA teams – one male and one female – donned their football kits and boots to take on the World United team to help promote Community Relations Week 2014.

World United is an intercultural football project targeting refugees, asylum seekers and people from black and minority ethnic communities.

Our MLAs displayed some quite thrilling football but they were no match for the skilled World United team which triumphed with scores of 3-0 against the male MLAs and 3-2 against the female MLAs.

Also taking part in the mini football tournament was the PSNI which played Dolymackers, a cross community team with members drawn from Doyle Youth Club and Ballymack Youth Club.

MLA Maeve McLaughlin said: "As chair of Assembly Community Connect, I am pleased to be supporting this event and Community Relations Week.

"This event gives us an opportunity to highlight the work of World United and the communities that they support – people who have come to make their home here."

Jacqueline Irwin, chief executive of the Community Relations Council, said building a united community is as urgent now as it was when the Belfast peace agreement was signed in 1998.

"There is no room for complacency.

"Community Relations Week is always an opportunity to showcase the great work that goes on quietly all-year round to build and sustain relationships."

Belfast Telegraph


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