Pitches in North Co Dublin ruined by joyriders

Fingal County Council has been forced to close the pitches ’on safety grounds’

Danny’s Pitches in Mulhuddart, Co Dublin, where car tyres created deep ruts in the turf.

Danny’s Pitches in Mulhuddart, Co Dublin, where car tyres created deep ruts in the turf.

 

Fingal County Council has been forced to close playing pitches in North Co Dublin after joyriders destroyed the playing surface for the second time in three weeks.

Skid marks from car tyres have left deep ruts on the surface at Danny’s Pitches in Mulhuddart, Co Dublin, resulting in the pitches being closed until further notice on safety grounds.

The incident, which took place on Wednesday, is the second act of vandalism the pitches were subjected to in recent weeks.

Two weeks ago, two burnt out cars had to be removed after vandals accessed the pitches after cutting the locks from two bollards to gain access. One bollard was subsequently repaired, while the second was never found following the incident.

On Wednesday, vandals again gained access to the pitches by removing the remaining bollard, and left deep skid marks on the surface.

Temporary boulders are being put in place at the entrance of the pitches to prevent access until new bollards have been made.

David Storey, director of operations at the council, said they have been left with “no option but to decommission the pitches until further notice in the interests of health and safety”.

“To hear of this incident during the Covid-19 crisis is very disappointing given that we are working hard to maintain our services to ensure the health and well-being of all our residents,” he added.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien, has condemned the incident, adding that it is “unacceptable behaviour from a small minority”.

“It is shocking to hear of this incident at a time when we are trying to concentrate our resources and services in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

“The knock-on effect is that the pitches will be out of action when they are reopened following the crisis, impacting the enjoyment of people at a time when they will be seeking a return to normal living after this difficult time.”

There have been similar acts of vandalism on pitches in the capital over the last few months.

Over the Christmas period, joyriders destroyed playing fields in Kilbogget Park, South Co Dublin. When gardaí arrived, there were tyre tracks scarring across two pitches, and the remains of a burnt out car.

Later that month, off-road bikes were used to damage playing fields on Benmadigan Road in Drimnagh.

In January, pitches at Whitehall VEC in Dublin, which are used by Home Farm FC, Whitehall Celtic and Rosmini Gaels, were also damaged by joyriders.