40 burnt out cars in two years in park

By Mary Dennehy

A TALLAGHT GAA club could be without a home venue in 2020 after its pitches were once again damaged by joyriders this week.

Issues with joyriding and burnt out cars on the junior and senior pitches of Croi Ro Naofa GAA club have been well reported on and discussed at council-level in recent years.

Killinarden Park burnt out car compressor

The car burnt out in Killinarden Park (Image: Croi Ro Naofa)

However, the situation for the Killinarden Park-based club continues to escalate, with the latest act of vandalism taking place this week, Monday, December 30.

According to Tommy Clinton, Croi Ro Naofa chairperson, this is the 40th burnt out car the club committee has found and recorded in the past two years (since January 1, 2018).

“They drove right across our juvenile and senior pitches, with the car burnt out just off the pitches”, Mr Clinton told The Echo about the latest incident.

“I doubt the senior pitch will be ready to play on for this year.

“In October a car was burnt out right in the middle [of the senior pitches] and this hasn’t been sorted yet… so, we’ll have to find somewhere else to play for the senior lads.

“We still have to examine the juvenile pitch, we might be able to do something with it.”

Killinarden Park car damage 2 compressor

The track marks damaged the pitch (Image: Croi Ro Naofa)

He added: “This activity is constant…and is impacting the club going forward.

“We wanted to set up a nursery in late January but there’s no hope of that happening if we come down on a Saturday morning and there’s a car burnt out on the pitch.”

Mr Clinton stressed that the club will be without a home as it enters its 20th year if immediate action is not taken.

Meetings have taken place between the club and South Dublin County Council, however a solution has yet to be agreed on.

Another meeting with the local authority and gardai is scheduled for January 10.

Speaking with The Echo, councillor Cathal King (Sinn Fein) said that action needs to be taken at the upcoming meeting.

“A number of solutions have been discussed and we now need a decision made and action taken”, Cllr King said.

“The club is at its wits end, an awful lot of effort and time is put into the club.

“We need everybody working together, the club, the council, the gardai, elected reps and the community.

“The council is 100 per cent committed to finding a solution and there is a money commitment, but we need 100 per cent commitment from the gardai too.

“When there is a car up [on the pitches] they need to respond immediately.

“The community also needs to come together.”

When contacted by The Echo, a spokesperson for South Dublin County Council confirmed that the local authority is aware of the recent damage to Killinarden Park. 

The spokesperson also said that the council is instigating boundary improvement works at locations where scramblers, quad bikes and cars are gaining access to public parks. 

According to the council: "Substantial boundary improvement works have taken place at both Bancroft Park and Butler McGee Park with further works due to take place at Killinarden Park, Jobstown Park, Quarryvale Park, St Cuthbert's Park, Tymon Park, Dodder Valley Park as well as the completion of fencing at Bytler McGee Park at a total cost in excess of €500,000." 

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