Soccer pitch torn up by scrambler bikes

Soccer pitch torn up by scrambler bikes
Tony Doherty and Derek Daniels of Knocknaheeny Celtic with Cllr. Kenneth Collins and Cllr. Mick Nugent next to the motorbike marks through their pitch at Kilmore Park. Picture Dan Linehan

KNOCKNAHEENY Celtic was forced to postpone a match last weekend on health and safety grounds.

Their game against Carrigtwohill was called off after quad bikes and scramblers were driven on the pitch at Kilmore Park, causing numerous large divots and rendering it unsafe to play on.

Sinn Féin brought a Bill to do quad bikes, scramblers and the grey areas around their use in public spaces to the Dáil last year but it was opposed by the Government due to possible legal challenges to prosecutions under the Road Traffic Act Scramblers and quad bikes are illegal to operate on roads but their usage in public spaces, such as housing estates and parks, is a grey area. Gardaí have limited powers to seize the vehicles as they are not required by law to have tax and insurance.

Councillor Mick Nugent (SF) said quads and scramblers are an increasing problem on the northside of the city.

“During the summer we had people whizzing about the Fair Field in Fair Hill. Obviously, young kids have received these for Christmas and they have now been used on the pitch at Kilmore Park.

“Knocknaheeny Celtic has been phenomenally successful in recent years and they are doing the area proud. They shouldn't have to put up with this at all.

“The pitch is a great surface but it's unprotected and the park next to it has nothing left, really, because of vandalism,” he added.

Tentative plans for a north-west regional park on Kilmore Park are currently being explored by City Council but are “years away” from completion according to Mr Nugent.

Kenneth Collins (SF) has urged quad and scrambler users to consider the effect on their local area.

“I'm calling on those that are using the pitch to stay off it with scramblers and quads as it has now caused a health and safety issue for the club and it's costing money for the club to use other grounds to play their games. This isn't good enough.”

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