Golf greens destroyed by joyriders
ONE of the country's most scenic golf courses has been vandalised, leaving the owners with a €40,000 damages bill.
Members and visitors turning up at the Connemara Isles Golf Club in Eanach Mheain, between Casla and Lettermore in Connemara, were dismayed to find three of the greens destroyed after someone had apparently driven over them repeatedly.
The course had to be closed immediately and was also closed yesterday as management called in the gardai and attempted to assess the extent of the damage.
Course manager, Tony Lynch said that everyone was shocked at the extent of the damage. The property is owned and run by the Lynch family.
"It seems to have happened late on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Some members who turned up early on Sunday morning for a club competition had to go home again when we discovered how bad things were", said Mr Lynch.
There was also severe disappointment for a group of visiting German golfers who had made special arrangements to play the unique course in the Connemara countryside.
"Unfortunately, we had to cancel their visit also, because of the damage. It wasn't nice, explaining what had happened.
"I remember The General (Martin Cahill) and his gang vandalising the greens of Stackstown Golf Club in Dublin back in the 1980s and it cost £25,000 to repair the greens there at that time.
"I reckon it will cost €40,000 to get our greens back to the shape they were in. I suppose we were lucky the weather had been pretty dry and the ground was hard."
Meanwhile, gardai are also investigating vandalism to a newly opened soccer pitch at Indreabhan, also in Connemara.
A joyrider apparently made his way past a locked gate and performed a series of high-speed manoeuvres or 'donuts', shredding the surface.