A friendly football match will take place this Wednesday afternoon in Sligo between a team representing the Sligo Traveller Support Group and players from Syria and Iraq currently based at the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre (EROC) in Ballaghaderreen. The players from Syria and Iraq have been based in the Roscommon town as they and their families prepare for the transition to permanent homes in various parts of the country. Many of those at the EROC have endured horrific experiences in war-torn Syria including losing family and friends in the conflict. Displaced from their home country they had to make treacherous journeys over land sea in order to find safety and refuge from bloodshed, war and bombings. Thousands of other women, men and children who have attempted similar journeys have lost their lives trying.
Jamie Murphy from the Sligo Traveller Support Group, and organiser of the game, said: “The families living in the EROC have experienced unimaginable hardship and heartbreak over the years of conflict in their home country, not to mention how difficult the journey was to get to Ireland. This game, although a small gesture, is an important demonstration of solidarity, support and welcome for people that have endured so much. It is important that all communities reach out and show solidarity for these families in whatever way they can. Sligo Traveller Support Group is absolutely privileged to host the the players from the EROC and we hope that through the universal language of sport that good relationships will be formed. We hope as many people as possible turn out to watch the game.”
The game takes place at 2pm at the Sean Fallon Centre at the Showgrounds, home of Sligo Rovers.