Tuesday 17 July 2018

Joyriders 'drove car near terrified young camogie players' and burned it out on GAA pitch

The burnt out car at St Mark's GAA pitch
The burnt out car at St Mark's GAA pitch
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A man has been arrested after joyriders drove through a GAA pitch during an under 11's camogie match in Dublin.

The group of young girls from St Mark's in Tallaght were playing against Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club from Ringsend on September 24 when the terrifying incident happened.

The car entered the playing pitches and drove to within "three to four meters" of the players, according to club chairman Patsy McCann.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Mr McCann said this kind of anti-social behaviour is happening on a "weekly basis" now.

The burnt out car on the St Mark's GAA pitch
The burnt out car on the St Mark's GAA pitch

"We have had four cars burned out in the last two weeks at the pitches, but this is the closest anyone has come to being seriously injured.

"Some of the young girls were crying and had to be shielded by spectators. It is only a matter of time until someone is killed," he added.

As well as being a danger to the health and safety of players at the club, Mr McCann said the joyriders are "completely destroying" the playing pitches.

"They are leaving the pitches unplayable. Every evening they are out there tearing around and it needs to be stopped."

The car in flames by St Mark's GAA pitch
The car in flames by St Mark's GAA pitch

Local councillor Cora McCann (SF) said South Dublin County Council addressed the issue at their monthly meeting last night and they are looking to introduce perimeter fencing to stop people being able to enter the pitch.

"Anti-social behaviour seems to be increasing and I think some parents are frightened to let children out on the pitch.

"There have been other incidents with quad bikes but the incident last Sunday was a big threat to the safety of all in attendance."

A garda spokesman said a man in his 30s was arrested in relation to dangerous driving at the scene.

He was subsequently charged and is due to appear in court at a later date.

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