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Garda Confidential No.: 1 800 666 111

2012/ 2013 Late Night Leagues Finals in Tallaght Stadium

On the 7th December 2012


Friday, the 7th December 2012 saw the finals of the An Gardaí Síochána/ FAI / Local Authority / ‘Late Night Leagues’ in Irishtown complex, courtesy of the Dublin City Council.

47 Teams participated in the finals, representing 20 centres throughout the Dublin Metropolitan Region.

The triumphant teams were:

• 16+ ‘Champions League’ Winners – Tallaght
        Runners Up – Blanchardstown

• 16+ ‘Europa League’ – Winners – Tallaght
        Runners-Up – Finglas

• U/16 ‘ CL’ Winners – Corduff
        Runners-Up – Sheriff St

• U/16 ‘EL’  Winners  - Skerries
        Runners Up – Ballymun

Trophies and medals were presented by Garda Assistant Commissioner John Twomey who heralded this tri-stakeholder initiative and stated the continued support of the Garda to this diversionary programme.

The Late Night League is aimed at youths aged between 13-21 years of age, offering football during prime ‘anti social’ hours on Friday or Saturday nights.

This year has seen numbers climb from approximately 1,000 to 1,200.  Besides a proven reduction in anti social behaviour, the programme provides an informal route to improved community policing.

Great credit must go to Electric Ireland for funding the project and to Dublin Bus for providing Finals Night transportation across the Region 


An Garda Síochána  in association with The Football Association of Ireland and Dublin Local Authorities launched the 2012/2013 Late Night Leagues in Tallaght Stadium on the 12th November 2012.  Republic of Ireland footballers Stephen Ward, Stephen Kelly and Keiren Westwood were in attendance to kick-off off the brand new season, and observed games between 60 participants on the pitch in Tallaght stadium.  Assistant Garda Commissioner, Dublin Metropolitan Region, John Twomey and FAI CEO John Delaney were also in attendance at the event to help launch the programme.

The Late Night League (LNL) is a diversionary programme incorporating soccer leagues at various locations across Dublin since 2008. It is aimed at encouraging at risk young people to participate in meaningful activities, thus reducing anti-social behaviour involving young people in disadvantaged areas. The Late Night Leagues are open to young people aged 13-21, and take place during prime anti-social hours such as Friday nights. An average of 2100 young people have participated with approximately 50 in each league to date.

The initiative is based around the concept of using football as a tool for social inclusion and learning. Through partnership and interagency co-operation the Late Night Leagues aim to:

Divert youths from Crime and anti-social behaviour

Encourage at risk young people to participate in meaningful activities, thus reducing anti-social behaviour

Promote and further engage with youths and communities

The leagues are ran by the FAI's co-funded development officers in conjunction with Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Gardaí from all six Divisions in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, the  Department for Children & Youth Affairs, Electric Ireland and Dublin Bus. To date the league has seen an increase from the initial nine centres in 2008 to 19 in 2012.

An Garda Síochána have recognised the value of football as a community policing tool, therefore creating an opportunity for Gardaí to develop informal channels of communication with a difficult target group, and improved community relations. During a six week period while the Late Night Leagues was ongoing last year, public order offences involving youths aged 13-18 years old reduced by 21% across the sub-districts where Late Night Leagues were in place. In regard to calls for service to An Garda Síochána Command & Control Centre, comparing the same six week period outside of the leagues, there was a 26% decrease in public order Garda assistance calls where leagues took place.

Assistant Commissioner, Dublin Metropolitan Region, John Twomey, said: "An Garda Síochána is delighted to be involved with the Late Night Leagues again this year. The programme continues to provide opportunities for young people and local Gardaí to engage with each other in a social environment. This can only be a positive development, which will lead to an improved policing service and ultimately to safer communities. In addition the Late Night Leagues would not work but only for the commitment and enthusiasm of our Partners, ‘the FAI and the Local County and City Councils. I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to the FAI Developments Officers and local Gardaí for their expertise and commitment to such a valuable initiative.’

FAI CEO John Delaney added, ‘Football can be used as a tool to bring people together and improve relationships, and that’s exactly what this programme has done since it commenced in 2008. This initiative has proven to be a huge success in keeping at risk teenagers off the streets at night. The success of the initiative is evident all over the city thanks to the continued work of our development officers, the Local Authorities, An Garda Síochána and young football players. The statistics speak for themselves as proof that these leagues are keeping hundreds of teenagers off the streets and out of trouble. I applaud An Garda Síochána for recognising the great work that our co-funded development officers do and we are, delighted to continue our relationship with them."

Cathal King , Mayor of South Dublin County Council said that  ‘South Dublin County Council is delighted once again to be working in partnership with an Garda Síochána and the FAI to run the Late Night Leagues not only in our own administrative area, but all across Dublin County and City. The value of combining the resources and expertise of each of the partners is evident in the success of the leagues and underlines the importance of the inter-agency approach.’

Minister Frances Fitzgerald, TD, Department for Children & Youth Affairs said, ‘Sport is one of the critical measures employed in reaching young people not engaged in youth work provision and gives a great opportunity to influence them to lead a healthy and physically active lifestyle. My Department recognises this and continues to support the Late Night Leagues which provides the opportunity for young people to showcase their talents and pursue a healthy lifestyle.'

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood said, " Growing up, I knew so many people who would have loved to get involved in something like this had it been organised at the time. I knew a lot of lads with potential, but who did not commit themselves to football. Listening to all the great stories that have come from this programme shows the great work the programme has done to date."
Stephen Kelly grew up in Finglas and said, "Football is a brilliant outlet for any young person. It gives you something to focus on, it teaches discipline, how to work as a team, helps you make friends and lead a healthy lifestyle. No doubt players who have gotten involved in this programme have really enjoyed it and hopefully it will continue to grow."

Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Ward, whose father is a Superintendent and works on the leagues said, "I am delighted to see the partnerships between the different agencies, the FAI, the Gardaí and the Councils coming together to provide a service in unsociable hours for teens locally. I know all about the Late Night Leagues and think it's a great idea to entertain young people and keep them off the streets and out of trouble."