Shane’s life to be remembered by trust to help keep children out of trouble

AN ambitious initiative was launched in Limerick yesterday to keep children out of trouble through sports in memory of murdered Limerick rugby captain Shane Geoghegan.

Mr Geoghegan was shot dead last November when he was mistaken for a drugs criminal.

His club, Garryowen, have joined with all other sporting clubs in Limerick city and county to form the Shane Geoghegan Trust which aims to engage with children in every parish and neighbourhood.

It is being modelled on the Sunderland Trust, which was set up by Sunderland football club eight years ago and helps up to 10,000 children every year from deprived areas in the north-east of England through soccer.

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn, who officiated at the launch in Garryowen rugby club, saluted the Geoghegan family and said: “I am astounded that this is being driven by a family who have suffered so much and to help something positive come from such tragic circumstances. That should be a strength and that will be a beacon that will keep it on track.”

Shane’s mother Mary said they have been “fighting” for Shane’s memory from the day he died.

“Fighting for his memory because of the danger that he may be remembered only by the manner of his dying. That would be another tragedy.

“We, his family, want Shane Geoghegan to be remembered for his life and the way he lived it. He was a contributor. He made other people’s lives better.

“His name should continue to remind people of that wonderful quality, and that’s the reason for this trust. It is the continuing contribution of a young man who lived a full, happy and generous life.”

Shane’s partner, Jenna Barry, also attended the launch.

Niall Quinn revealed that Sunderland will travel to Thomond Park next July to play a friendly against an Irish selection to help raise funds for the trust. And young fans need not worry about the cost of tickets as Sunderland will bear their own expenses.

The 100 full-time workers with the Sunderland FC trust will also come to Limerick to give advice on their experience.

All the major sporting organisations including, soccer, rugby, GAA, and golf have agreed to be active participants of the trust.

One of the first projects will be organised in the Kilteragh estate in Dooradoyle where Shane was shot dead on November 9 last. Tony Geoghegan, an uncle of Shane’s and a board member of the trust, said a street games programme will start in Kilteragh. This is aimed at taking back streets from antisocial elements and returning them to childhood pursuits.

* The Shane Geoghegan Trust website is on www.sgt3.com and donations can be sent to Bank of Ireland a/c number 38377911, sort code 90-43-17.

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