Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption
Club News

The Beacon of Light Breakthrough programme ends after a hugely successful pilot programme in partnership with Shamrock Rovers F.C. and the FAI.

The initial pilot scheme (see press release 11th April here) came to a close in June and was formally recognised at the South Dublin County Council offices last Friday where all participants received their PDP1 coaching qualification certificates.

The Breakthrough coaching programme was run in conjunction with The Beacon of Light, Shamrock Rovers F.C. and the FAI.


In closing the programme organisers said:



The Breakthrough Programme has run a pilot programme with football, in conjunction with Beacon of Light Counselling Centre, Shamrock Rovers and the FAI. 

“The results of the pilot programme are astounding, the feedback and the evaluation results are very positive, it would be our aim to run the programme again very soon. This is a really important programme in the context of men’s mental health. Some of the participants said that the programme had been “LIFE CHANGING” for them.

This is quite profound given the variety of complex needs these men have faced in their past, and some continue to do so in their present. We wish to extend our sincere thanks to Shamrock Rovers for the use of their academy and facilities, and to the FAI for coaching the lads on the programme and ensuring all the participants got their PDP coaching certificate.

– Geoffrey McCarthy, Programme Director



“It has been fantastic to be a part of such an impactful programme. Football affects so many people positively worldwide and we were delighted to deliver it as part of this programme. We look forward to continued work with both BOL & Shamrock Rovers F.C. and we strive to use football as a tool to engage people within the community” – Robbie De Courcy, FAI Coaching Dept.



“We were delighted to get involved in this great programme and hosted the group each week at our training centre in Roadstone Group Sports Club. Shamrock Rovers F.C. is very aware of its role within the community and we like to support as many projects as we can.

For the Breakthrough programme we were able to provide the training facility, provide football coaching and fitness training, assist with the supply of training kit and finally to showcase the group on the pitch at half time of last Friday’s game at Tallaght Stadium.”

– Shane Robinson, SRFC Academy Director.


The results of the programme are most impressive as the following summary documents outline:

Pictured pitchside at Tallaght Stadium on Friday 28th June 2019 are the programme participants and members of the organising group.

Background Information:

What is the Breakthrough Programme?

  • The Breakthrough Programme is a multi-award winning counselling and support programme for at risk, young adult males in West Dublin
  • It is unique because it addresses people’s mental and physical health together, on a one to one basis
  • At present, the 8-10 week Programme combines individual counselling and a sporting activity
  • We commenced the Programme in 2016 and to date, 36 men from the local community have participated.
  • 25% have stayed involved as mentors for subsequent Programme participants. This in itself is a very positive outcome
  • The Breakthrough Programme has been evaluated by Maynooth University
  • It facilitates engagement with positive male role models
  • New pilot project with the SRFC & FAI in May/June 2019
  • home page and click on services and then the breakthrough programme  
  • BT is currently funded by the SDCSP, SIFI & OSF

Photo: Dylan Kirwan (participant), Geoffrey McCarthy (Breakthrough programme director), Mark Connors (FAI BT Programme coach) and Shane Robinson (Shamrock Rovers Academy Director)