Written Answers. - Young Footballers.

Michael Ferris

Question:

62 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps, if any, taken by the Irish Embassy in London arising out of a recent newspaper article (details supplied) to ensure that Irish teenagers who are selected for trials by English football clubs are provided with suitable accommodation and educational facilities while they are in England. [22164/98]

The article in the Sunday Times of 20 September 1998, which I assume gave rise to this question, does not mention any shortcomings with regard to accommodation or educational facilities for Irish teenagers selected for trials by English football clubs. The embassy in London maintains close contact with numerous voluntary groups in the Irish community in Britain who offer advice and support to Irish people, including young people newly arrived from Ireland. Neither the Department of Foreign Affairs nor the embassy has received any complaint in regard to the accommodation or educational facilities provided to Irish teenagers selected for trials by English football clubs. If the Deputy lets me have details of any shortcomings with regard to accommodation and education which may have come to his attention I will consider whether it would be appropriate for the Department or the embassy to take any action.