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Pitch blessed... but trouble later breaks

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Fr Cusack, right, blesses the new Oriel Park surface back in 2017 watched by then club owners Andy Connolly and Paul Brown and manager Stephen Kenny

Fr Cusack, right, blesses the new Oriel Park surface back in 2017 watched by then club owners Andy Connolly and Paul Brown and manager Stephen Kenny

Fr Cusack, right, blesses the new Oriel Park surface back in 2017 watched by then club owners Andy Connolly and Paul Brown and manager Stephen Kenny

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It was a peaceful start at Oriel Park as Fr. Michael Cusack blessed the new pitch ahead of Dundalk's F.C big game against Shamrock Rovers on Friday night last.

The St Joseph's Redemptorist's Father was joined by Dundalk FC owners Andy Connolly and Paul Brown and first-team manager Stephen Kenny just hours before the game.

Speaking as he blessed the grounds, Fr. Cusack said: 'Mindful of the talented players and dedicated coaches and zealous fans who have enjoyed the game of soccer in these grounds, and grateful for our generous donors, we have produced this new soccer pitch in honour of all those involved in this club over the years.

But the serene scene wasn't to last in and Oriel Park as arrests were made even before kick off.

Gardai confirmed that at 7.15p.m a youth was arrested for public order after he became abusive to gardai on patrol along the Carrick Road.

Additional gardai were on duty in line with the first match of the 2017 seasons.

A spokesman confirmed that a number of further arrests were made before kick off, with three adults and three youths being detained.

A further arrest was made inside the grounds after a 53 year old Dublin man became abusive and threatening to gardai.

He was escorted from the grounds, and was charged under the public order act.

On the pitch it was a better night for Dundalk as goals from Robbie Benson and Ciarán Kilduff ensured a perfect start on the new pitch for the three-in-a-row Champions in front of the 4,700 strong crowd.


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