Chloe Kenna: from homelessness to representing Ireland

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By Sam McMurdock
From alcohol dependency and homelessness to representing Ireland and graduating from university, Chloe Kenna shares her story with Ireland’s Big Issue.
Chloe Kenna, 26, from Durrow, County Laois, has not had an easy life. After her dad died, she spiralled deep into alcohol dependency that resulted in homelessness.
But this year, she represented Ireland at the Homeless World Cup in Sacramento, California, US and graduated with a degree in business studies, and now works as a financial analyst in Limerick – a testament to the Irish Homeless Street Leagues slogan, “a ball can change a life.”
“I’ve always loved soccer and played with boys from as far back as I can recall, as no girls in our area played,” she says. “I joined a local football team at the age of six and was in it until I was 13, when, thankfully, a girls’ team was set up.
“At school, I never had any interest in things like English or written work but had a real love and talent for figures. There was always something about maths and the logic and problem solving in it that I loved, and that led to me getting interested in accountancy and business in later years of secondary school.”
But when Chloe was 22 and studying at college, her life crumbled before her eyes. Having always “enjoyed the drink,” her dad, with whom she was incredibly close, died suddenly. In a bid to “numb my pain and quieten my thoughts,” she turned to alcohol herself.

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