Club helped out after pitches vandalised

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A LOCAL businessman has made an anonymous donation to Croí Ró Naofa GAA Club to help to cover the cost of transport for players who have had to play home matches away because their pitches in Killinarden Park are being damaged by anti-social behaviour on a regular basis.

As reported in The Echo, the chairman of the club, Tommy Clinton, said he feared that the repeated acts of vandalism could put the future of the club in jeopardy if a resolution wasn’t achieved.

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The pitches wrecked by vandals last week

Five cars have been burnt out on the club’s pitches so far this year, while damage has also been caused by scrambler bikes, causing Croí Ró Naofa’s home matches to be played away on numerous occasions as a result, costing the club over €800 in transport costs.

A meeting was held on Monday night about the issues, with members of the club, An Garda Síochana, South Dublin County Council and local elected representatives in attendance.

At the meeting, the council revealed that a total of 30 cars have been burnt out in Killinarden Park since January this year, with a cost of €55 per car removal, and that the money spent by the council repairing the damage caused to pitches and greenspaces in the park runs into thousands.

Sinn Féin councillor for Tallaght South, Dermot Richardson, who was at the meeting, told The Echo: “It was a very positive meeting. South Dublin County Council has committed to helping to resolve this.

“It seems to have gotten out of hand over the past two years. We have to get it out to the community that it is not okay to do this. But I’m coming from a positive point of view, as the council are committed to resolving this.”

Another meeting is planned in the coming weeks, and in the meantime the community has rallied around the club, with a local businessman making an anonymous donation to help to cover the additional transport costs the club has incurred as a result of the pitch damage.

David Beegan, the vice-chairman of Croí Ró Naofa, told The Echo: “The local community has rallied around us.

“Croí Ró Naofa are truly in debt to people like this businessman, who step up to the plate and do good for their local community by potentially keeping the club alive by his generous donation.”

Cllr Richardson added that he’s confident the club will be around for many more years to come.

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