Local soccer club looking over their shoulders after overnight break in causes damage to clubhouse

Local soccer club looking over their shoulders after overnight break in causes damage to clubhouse
Ringmahon Rangers AFC was broken into overnight leaving the club with more damage done to its grounds.

The hardworking committee behind local club Ringmahon Rangers say they are on constantly looking over their shoulders as a result of repeated vandalism, after their clubhouse was broken into once again.

The clubhouse, which housed a lawn mower and a strimmer, was broken into between the hours of 9pm Monday night and 5am on Tuesday morning.

The strimmer was taken through a gap in the fencing which surrounds the club, and the damaged lawnmower was left behind after the burglars could not get it over the fencing.

Secretary of the club, Séan Fitzgerald said that those involved in the club are constantly looking over their shoulders, having been broken into in the past.

“We had a dugout smashed before and they broke into our main container before and now they're after robbing us again.

“These things aren’t cheap. We’re a voluntary run organisation, we depending on a little bit of sponsorship here and there to buy all these things.

“We’re trying to fundraise for an astroturf, and that’s costing €180,000 and we’re trying to fundraise nearly €100,000, we're trying to focus on that and now we have to dip into savings that we shouldn't have to to pay for all this damage again,” he said.

Ringmahon Rangers AFC was broken into overnight leaving the club with more damage done to its grounds.
Ringmahon Rangers AFC was broken into overnight leaving the club with more damage done to its grounds.

The clubhouse is protected with CCTV cameras and a sensory spotlight system but Mr Fitzgerald said that the burglars cut off the sensor so the light would not work and they would not be seen in the dark.

He said that the lockdown due to Covid-19 is disruptive enough, not to have to deal with break-ins on top of it.

“The club is a hobby for people to get out of the house and go down to the pitch at the weekend. The place is like a ghost town now.

“If you pass Ringmahon any day of the week before the restrictions were in place, there was always teams training.

“It’s disheartening when you’re doing so much for the community and you’re offering your facilities and these fellas are just taking advantage of the lockdown,” he said.

Labour Local Area Representative, Peter Horgan described the attack on Ringmahon Rangers as an assault on solidarity as the community tries to combat the Covid-19 virus.

"Clubs right around Cork have had to shut their grounds in efforts to stem the virus," said Mr Horgan.

"And then you have attacks on clubs like Ringmahon with equipment stolen and damage done to their clubhouse again. This is an assault on solidarity and must be stamped out. Those who are breaking the guidelines of staying in home and committing criminal offences must be faced with the full arm of the law, regardless of age."

"We can only get through this together by staying home. But when you see hardworking clubs like Ringmahon getting attacked, we have to stand up to it,” he said.

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