A GROUP of volunteers who spent months transforming a needle and beer can infested wasteland have found themselves locked out.
The Donor's Green Action Group were dismayed when they arrived on Monday morning to cut the grass as normal, to find a lock firmly on the entrance gate.
'What can we say? We have spent months here, at our own expense, cleaning, cutting, planting and people have rediscovered a little piece of lost Drogheda as a result,' Brendan O'Brien said. 'Now we can't get in the gate to tend to the place. People will be shocked and saddened by this.'
The small group began a transformation project on the green during the summer, cutting back decades of growth, with volunteer Sean Norris picking up 'literally thousands of beer cans.'
Since then they have spent every spare minute working on the green, with the hedge cut back, giving a wonderful view of the Boyne and the historic viaduct.
Whole families have taken to walking there now.
'Since the work started there hasn't been one incident in terms of drugs or beer cans being discarded. People have taken a great interest in the place and don't want it going back to what it was like,' Brendan said.
But with the gate locked, they are faced with an uncertain future.
'This project can't stop,' Brendan said. 'We've been out buying daffodils and bluebells and there's a plan to plant 10 chestnut trees in November to enhance the place.'
Donations of plants and shrubs have also been made by people anxious to see Donor's Green even better than this summer.
'If there is some issue with the gate then no problem. Give us a key to the lock and we'll make it secure,' Brendan explained.
Paul Fleming, CEO of Drogheda Port told the Drogheda Independent that there had been complaints about vehicles driving down the green and the situation had become a health and safety one.
'There had also been issues with people practising their golf swing,' he added. 'Vehicles should not be on the green.'
He also stated that signs will be going up to give a history of Donor's Green as well as signs warning people to keep dogs on a leash.