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Oran tribute at soccer match

Ryan Clarke

THE community section of Bohemian Football Club continued its invaluable community work in Mountjoy Prison recently with a football match between prisoners and a team representing the Bohemian Foundation.

Along with the other work they do throughout the Northside community, the Foundation is particularly active in the ‘Joy’.

Foundation volunteers try to help prisoners reintegrate into society by showing them alternatives to crime, through sport and comedy.

The Bohs players have also bought into the ethos of the Bohemian Foundation, with many of them getting involved.

The Foundation Trophymatch was played at a high tempo and the Bohemian Foundation team raced into an early 2-0 lead.

The prisoners played their way back into the game, but despite all the good build-up they just couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net.

They hit the crossbar and shot just wide numerous times, but the Foundation team won 6-2 in the end.

Deputy governor of Mountjoy, Donnacha Walsh, spoke after the match about the great benefits of outside organisations coming into Mountjoy to interact with the prisoners. 

“Of course with sport being such an important aspect of life, to bring a football team into the prison and play with them, it gives them a sense of normality and belonging,” he said.

“It’s so important because quite often in their lives they’re marginalised – they love sport and it’s great to see something so positive in Mountjoy.”

Oran ‘Ginger Mourinho’ Tully, who tragically passed away recently at the age of just 19, was commemorated at the football match. 

After the game the man-of-the-match trophy was presented in his memory, by his family and close friend.

Oran was a young man whose larger than life reputation and personality preceded him everywhere he went in life.

Everyone who had the privilege to meet him – no matter if they knew him all his life or just stopped to have a quick chat about football with him – had nothing but glowing admiration for him.

Oran was a devoted and passionate fan of Chelsea, Bohs and the Ireland national team, but more than that he had a passion for football, in general, that was infectious and inescapable.

Walking into Dalymount Park every fortnight you would undoubtedly receive the warmest of welcomes from Oran, who volunteered to help sell match programmes.

Ever the optimist, Oran could change your opinion on the upcoming match in the space of a couple of sentences, his enthusiasm for Bohs was so strong.

Perhaps one of the greatest compliments I can pay him is that he had an amazing ability to simply make you laugh or smile after a bad day.

Despite Oran battling with severe illness for his whole life he lived by the mantra of, ‘I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time.’

He followed his beloved Bohs the length and breadth of Ireland and followed Ireland around France during Euro 2016, all the while documenting it all for his self-titled YouTube channel.

The outpouring of emotion and sadness from every corner of Irish football, and from Chelsea FC, showed how highly Oran was regarded. He was granted a minute’s applause at last week’s Ireland V Wales Nations League match.

The man-of-the-match trophy presented at Mountjoy was designed with many iconic pictures of Oran and before his father, Martin Tully, presented the award, he delivered a poignant speech about the amazing legacy his son has left behind him.

Speaking after the event, Martin praised Bohemians and the Bohemian Foundation.

“It’s emotional in many ways to have the man-of-the-match in Oran’s honour,” he said.

”He loved getting out on the pitch, whether playing or coaching so he would have loved tonight.

“The gestures from Bohemians and the fans, and from the whole League of Ireland, have been unbelievable really. They really help keep Oran alive in many ways, and it almost makes you believe that he’s not really gone and that he’s still around and making things happen.

“All of our family and extended family have been amazed by the support we’ve received, from all the banners and flags and programmes it’s been superb. All of it helps hugely and with him being so well known and so loved by so many people, we have a lot of happy memories to look back on.”

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