Young soccer stars distraught as beer bottles stamped into pitch
Beer bottles were stamped into the pitch at the soccer club where former Irish international stars Gary Kelly and Nick Colgan began their careers.
Drogheda Boys FC, which marks its 30th anniversary this year, has been plagued by vandalism for months.
Just before summer soccer camps were to start, the committee found empty beer bottles had been "stamped into the grass pitches".
"It has been a nightmare of a summer, we have had 16 fires in a 30-day period," said Graham Campbell, secretary of the club.
The grounds where Kelly and Colgan played U-12 football, before being signed by British Premier League teams Leeds and Chelsea respectively, have also been subject to vandalism, including the fences around the pitches being cut.
League of Ireland players Killian and Ryan Brennan both played with the Louth club too.
"We found Coca Cola bottles that had been filled with petrol and used as accelerants when fires were started alongside the grass pitches," said Mr Campbell.
Efforts were also made to start small fires on the astro-turf pitch and hacksaws have been used to cut through steel fencing.
The club inspects the pitches before any training or matches so none of the 270 children are in any danger.
Michelle Linkevicius, whose son Dominikas (9) plays with the club, said she was disgusted at the vandalism. Dominikas said, "I really love football and play for Drogheda Boys. I am gobsmacked by what has happened."