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Niall's on the spot for Dublin Bus penalty shoot-out

SOCCER hero Niall Quinn was in Ballymun for the Dublin Bus Penalty Shoot Out.

Twenty aspiring soccer stars aged from 10 to 14 enjoyed a sunny afternoon at Poppintree Community Centre being coached by the former international star yesterday.

The event is held in a different community in Dublin every year and aims to recognise the good work done by community groups. Local gardai provide activities for young people during the summer and encourage them to respect public transport.

Niall explained the serious need for this fun-filled event,

"When I first came home and finished my career, there was a lot of problems on the buses, damage etc, and there was a need to bring a new message to the young people in areas where the buses were needed more than anywhere else, the very areas where the problems were was where the most people were."

"We go out into areas like here in Poppintree and we get the kids and tell them a few things about how important the bus is.

Success

"They tell me it works, so it's been a success all round," he said. Niall is also patron of the Dublin Bus Community Spirit awards, which uses funds from unclaimed change receipts to give grants to community projects,

"We give it to small groups like the people here in Poppintree who'd be doing things for young people, so it would be small and select rather than the big charities, so it's good to get in amongst it."

hnews@herald.ie