Eamon Fennell on GAA player's sleep-out: "This can't be a flash in the pan"

Over €195,000 has been raised by the Gaelic Voices for Change

BY Simon Maguire 14:14 Monday 18 December 2017, 14:14 18 Dec 2017

All-Ireland football winner Eamon Fennell is hoping that the successful Gaelic Voices for Change sleep-out at the weekend will lead to a change in the current homeless crises sweeping the country.

Roughly 400 GAA players took part in the event across the country and raised in excess of €195,000.00 for their efforts. 

Speaking to Off the Ball's Oisin Langan at the event, Fennell hoped the act of solidarity will lead to significant change in the country. 

"I think we've achieved a great deal of awareness towards the situation that it is already there," he said, "but also for the Gaelic Voices for Change brand about trying to get all these people and the other people around - the other counties - more involved in Gaelic Voices for Change.

"The big part of this was we had to learn more about it and to learn a bit more about it we had to sleep on the streets so hopefully now, whoever is sleeping here, is hemmed in all over the country, will get more involved and will help us make a change.  

"The real learning for me was trying to sleep on this street when there's so much chaos going around. It's near impossible to do so. You have all the traffic - you have all the noise coming from down the street with late night revelers out.

"You have a few homeless guys in here and all they wanted was just a bit of security - they just wanted to be in with us so they had a bit of security for a night's sleep and, for me, that was the biggest learning thing - all they wanted to do was be beside us for a good night's sleep - that's what I'll take away with it," he added.   

Looking to the future, he said: "Honestly, I'm not too sure where it goes but it has to go somewhere and it has to go somewhere very quick. It can't be a flash in the pan job. This was too big - there was too many people who got behind this and we've achieved so much - if we don't do something else until 2018 until we do this again - it will be very sad. 

"In order for us to make a real change -  we have to keep being proactive, we have to keep engaging with everyone here, we have to keep pushing it through our social channels as much as possible."

Donations for the event can be made here.

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