RIVERSTOWN FC chairperson John O’Connor has expressed his disappointment at the ‘disgraceful’ events which have occurred at their facilities in recent weeks.
Significant damage and vandalism have taken place at the Community Grounds in Glanmire. This has included broken glass on the grass playing surfaces, broken bottles on the car park, fires set on the new car park, protective netting slashed, new fencing is broken, hundreds of bottles thrown on the club grounds, and litter covering the entire facility.
The soccer club chairperson said the vandalism is a ‘kick in the teeth’ for the club members and for the local community.
“We want people to be more respectful," he said. "We understand that kids are frustrated they can’t play ball at the moment.
Mr O’Connor believes damage is being done by ‘people within our own community’ and said incidents have increased in recent weeks.
“It all kicked off on St Patrick’s Day and has carried on from there since unfortunately," he said. "There is lots of drinking going on, unfortunately. It will cost us a bit of money to clean up the mess.”
The chairperson said that the club is now looking into installing CCTV cameras to deter vandalism and praised the reaction from club members and local families.
“We have fantastic facilities. We lease from the Community Association with whom we have a great relationship. We have had a lot of offers from club members and families keen to help out with the clean-up.
Independent councillor Ken O'Flynn symphatised with the members of Riverstown FC, who are catering for a growing membership in the local area.
“This type of antisocial behaviour is affecting clubs and the local community. It shows a deep level of disrespect for the many club volunteers who provide top facilities.
Councillor O’Flynn has called for stricter measures to be enforced in the battle against anti-social behaviour.
“The guards will have to step in and enforce our by-laws of drinking on the street," he said. "There has to be a crackdown on that.
"This is successfully enforced in other European countries. It is about knowing where your children are and taking responsibility. There have to be consequences for anti-social behaviour."