Gardai investigate as club changing rooms set alight

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A FOOTBALL club which was “left with nothing” after a container they used as a changing room in Griffeen Valley Park was set alight on Monday, has set up a fundraising campaign to get a new container and get the club “back to its best”.

Beech Park Football Club is a junior football club based in Griffeen Valley Park, which was founded in 1982 and has 200 players.

Beech Park

Gardai are investigating the fire at Beech Park dressing room in Griffeen Valley Park

A metal container was put in the park four years ago for use as a changing room for the club, so players wouldn’t have to change pitchside, and another container housed the club’s equipment, which the fire did not spread to.

Eamon O’Hara, the chairman of Beech Park FC, told The Echo: “The fire completely destroyed the changing room, it’s left us with nothing up in Griffeen.

“It’s hurt the club a lot and we used the changing rooms a lot. We didn’t realise how much we used it until it was gone.

“It doesn’t look good for any club to have their players changing beside the pitch.”

The club holds training in the park on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, while matches are played over the weekend – and all of the participants used the changing rooms.

“It was a container that was made into a changing room,” explained Mr O’Hara. “The one behind it has our equipment in it, and it would’ve been seriously damaging to us if the fire had reached that one too.”

A GoFundMe page was set up for the club, which at the time of print had raised over €500, and Mr O’Hara said he is heartened by the support the club has received from the community.

“The amount of support we’ve been getting is unbelievable, it’s brilliant. We’ve had support from parents who aren’t even involved in the club, and two local large sports teams offered us use of their facilities.”

A garda spokesperson said: “Gardai are investigating a fire that occurred at Griffeen Valley Park at approximately 10.30pm on Monday.

“A metal container was set on fire and Dublin Fire Brigade attended the scene and extinguished the fire. No one [was] injured.”

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