Community rallies around northside soccer club

Community rallies around northside soccer club
Castleview AFC in Churchfield has suffered €10,000 worth of damage at the hands of underage vandals who are binge-drinking and destroying equipment on the grounds late at night. The dugout in the grounds has been dismantled because of the damage

FUNDING and support have been flooding in for the northside football club Castleview AFC following a summer of vandalism which caused €10,000 worth of damage to their grounds.

Chairperson of Castleview AFC Rodney Power said he has been involved in the club since 1988 and he has never seen a summer like it.

The club, which has 500 members, including Jonathon O’Brien’s son Conor, who plays on the U14 team, had two goalposts smashed to pieces, another goalpost burned and broken, and another set had a crossbar stolen rendering it useless.

Their training all-weather pitch was burned on a couple of occasions along with fires both on and off the grass pitches, the boundary fence has been damaged on numerous occasions, and the dugouts were so badly damaged that they have had to dismantle them.

As well as this, the storage container with the club’s lawnmower was broken into and their strimmers, shovels, rakes and other tools were stolen.

Since going public with the damage to the club last week, Mr Power said that the response has been overwhelming.

“The support has been unbelievable. We are just gobsmacked.

“My phone has been hopping non-stop and every club you can think of has offered us financial support or containers or new nets, it has just been fantastic.”

Mr Power said the club set up a Gofundme page to raise €2,000 for new goalposts and, between cash donations and the online page, they have already reached their target.

“We are blown away by the support. Rockmount AFC donated the proceeds of a recent match to Castleview AFC, raising €660, and a tiny club called Central Rovers also donated €100.”

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Mick Nugent said it was great to see the northside community and the football community come together to help out Castleview AFC.

The Lord Mayor Mick Finn is scheduled to visit the club tomorrow to be shown around the facilities and to offer his support, while both Senator Colm Burke and TD Mick Barry have promised financial donations to the club as well.

Local gardaí have also upped the ante in terms of proactively patrolling the area to ward off any anti-social behaviour, according to Mr Power.

“We had a sergeant from Gurranabraher up to look over the place and the gardaí now have a key to the grounds so they can get in and out if they need to,” Mr Power said.

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