Dundalk FC chairman Mike Treacy has seen first hand the impact a sick child can have on friends. That’s why he has taken particular pride in the club launching their new third kit in partnership with sponsors Fyffes in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
The new kit was unveiled at Oriel Park last Wednesday and worn by the club for the first time in Monday night’s EA Sports Cup match away to St Patrick’s Athletic.
It will be worn throughout the cup campaigns with €10 from every sale going towards Temple Street. The club will also donate €100 for every goal scored in the cups while a fundraiser will take place later this year in aid of the hospital at which the Dundalk players have volunteered to give up their day’s wages.
Various local businesses have also vowed to donate towards Temple Street based on goals scored and clean sheets kept throughout the year.
Speaking to at the launch, Treacy said the idea for the link-up came following a visit by a number of Dundalk players to Temple Street before Christmas.
“This is our seventh year with Fyffes and after seven years you re-evaluate the relationship. We went through a little bit of a separation there but we couldn’t separate from each other ultimately so we came back together and we wanted to do something greater.
“Christmas Eve was special when Vinny and the players went to the hospital to visit the sick children and brought them a Christmas. That spawned the idea of why don’t we do something bigger than this while we’re on the pitch and do something more meaningful.”
Treacy knows from one of his friend’s experiences of just how important facilities such as Temple Street can be.
“One of my best buddies back in Chicago, his niece around Christmas time had a disabling injury and was immobile for a month or so. She’s slowly going through rehabilitation. It sets her back a year physically but for Mike and his family the world stops. You forget everything you’re doing.
“When you hear your child’s life is at risk it changes things. Our lives are nice and all but we’re all decaying and we’re all going six feet down at some point. It’s all about the kids of the future and looking out for them and raising them to make the world better.
“What we do out here is great for the community and it’s fun but a human life is the most important thing,” he said.
Treacy also praised the club’s players for their backing of the initiative.
“That’s just the culture we have. We don’t go to our players and ask these things of them. We mentioned what we were doing to the players and we had guys standing up asking what they can do to give back.
“We really have an incredible group here. We talk about culture and continuity but it’s hard to put into words what that is but when you have events like this that’s what that culture is and that’s what that continuity is.”
Meanwhile, Fyffes managing director Ger Cunningham said he is hopeful that the jersey will raise the profile of the good work that is carried out on a daily basis at Temple Street.
“It’s a proud day for me as a local man. Dundalk is my pride and joy but from a company point of view as well it’s the right thing to do.
“We’ve been working on this since Christmas and in fairness all the parties were very easy to work with. It was a matter of getting permission from the FAI as well but we got that pretty quickly too. I think it’s a great idea and a great cause. Hopefully now we get a good run in the cup.
“I’ve heard nothing but great stories about Temple Street. I’ve been there and seen what they do. Our chairman has been on their board for a long time as well. It’s a great cause. No one wants to be there but when they are there and they’re called upon they always act very fast.
“The winners here will really be the kids,” he said.
The new third kit is available now for pre-order on dundalkfc.com, priced €55 for adults and €45 for kids.