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The Birth of GOAL’s Humanitarian Mission


August 22, 2018 • 1 min read


In 1977, GOAL’s founder and former CEO, John O’Shea witnessed first-hand the plight of local street children living in dire poverty in Calcutta.
Saddened and moved by the poverty he encountered, he committed to doing whatever he could to alleviate the suffering they faced.

With a steadfast mission to help relieve communities from their state of destitution, he gathered the support of five similarly minded friends,
and in July of that 1977, GOAL was born.

John’s enigmatic personality and strong determination to help saw him harness the support of his wide network of friends formed through his work as a successful
sports journalist, and motivate them to help him raise £10,000 to support a small local health clinic in Calcutta.

Thereafter commenced the beginning of a journey that would see John and thousands of other GOAL staff dedicate themselves to alleviating poverty
and responding to humanitarian emergencies around the world for decades to come.

John helped shape and steer GOAL to become a vital international humanitarian organisation that exists to alleviate the suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.

Thanks to the dedicated support of the Irish public and generous donors, GOAL has been able to reach almost 60 countries throughout its history.John O’Shea feeding children during a GOAL visit in 1984. John O’Shea greeting families during programme visit.