Tuesday 6 December 2016

Prisoners dig deep for Special Olympics

Cathal McMahon

Published 19/04/2016 | 02:30

Athletes Sarah Byrne from Clondalkin and Laura Reynolds from Wicklow watch a prisoner take a a shot at the basket in the Dochas Centre. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan
Athletes Sarah Byrne from Clondalkin and Laura Reynolds from Wicklow watch a prisoner take a a shot at the basket in the Dochas Centre. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan

Inmates at the women's Dóchas Centre are foregoing sweets and chocolates - "but not the smokes" - to raise money for Special Olympics Ireland.

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The prisoners were given a display of skills yesterday by athletes including members of Team Ireland who won gold in basketball at the World Summer Games in Los Angeles last year.

Prisoners are hosting bake sales, giving haircuts and taking part in a 'danceathon' - all to raise cash from fellow inmates and staff for the Special Olympics Collection Day which takes place on Friday.

Others are donating part of their modest allowances to the charity.

One inmate, who is serving a lengthy sentence for a serious crime, said: "My eyes are opened. There is so much I can do, that I used to only think about before I came to prison.

"My brother said: 'This is the best thing that ever happened to you in a way,' and I reckon he's right."

Depending on their behaviour, prisoners in Irish jails get a basic weekly allowance of €6.90, €11.80 or €15.90.

Irish Independent

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