John O'Shea (born 1944) is founder and former CEO of GOAL, an Irish non-governmental organization devoted to assisting the poorest of the poor. His first career was as a sports journalist and GOAL retains significant links to the sporting community, especially in Ireland.
O'Shea was born in County Limerick in 1944 and lived in Westport and in Cork. His father, a banker, moved the family to Dublin when he was age 11. He was schooled in CBC Monkstown and was a sports fanatic playing rugby at school and a keen golfer and tennis player in Monkstown. O'Shea remains a keen fan of rugby, tennis and golf, playing tennis every Saturday and also giving opinions on Irish sports to radio and newspapers. O'Shea went on to study Economics, English and Philosophy at University College Dublin and had a career as a sports journalist in the Evening Press for many years after meeting Tim Pat Coogan whilst studying.
In 1977, he began his charitable organisation with a 10,000 punts donation for a feeding project in Calcutta after which O'Shea founded GOAL. The charity has a major sporting backbone. John McEnroe, Pat Cash and Gordon D'Arcy are amongst the sportstars to have become "Goalies"(volunteers).
In its 36 years of operation, GOAL has distributed €790 million and has had over 1,400 volunteers. It has operated in over 50 countries worldwide. O'Shea sites watching the "Goalies" working around the world as the best part of his years involved in the charity. O'Shea believes that governments of developed countries should be far more involved in the distribution of aid. Speaking on a tribute to his work in GOAL in 2007 on Ireland foremost chat show-The Late Late Show, O'Shea said;