MEMBERS of a Dublin cricket club have been left stunned after vandals poured weedkiller across several pitches.
Gardai are investigating the attack at the YMCA Cricket Club in Sandymount last week.
Vandals entered the grounds late at night and poured heavy weedkiller on eight pitches.
The club, whose members include Irish international Trent Johnston, say the damage runs into thousands of euro.
The club told the Herald that the weedkiller was poured in a "zig-zag like fashion" across the cricket square.
"It's similar to someone going and digging up a putting green on a golf course.
"We are extremely distressed and shocked at why people would choose to target our club in such a despicable manner," club president Heatley Tector said.
"It's happened at the very start of our summer season and is going to cause disruption to our members, both young and old," he added.
The club believe that the weedkiller was poured over the pitches on Wednesday night.
However it took a number of days before the true scale of the damage became apparent.
According to club secretary James Fitzgerald, the club initially feared that the soil was suffering from a disease but soon realised that the ground had been tampered with.
"As the week went on, the damage just got worse, so we knew then that it had been infected with weedkiller," he said.
The club will now draft in experts to assess the scale of the damage amid fears that the incident could have caused longstanding infection to the pitches.
Mr Fitzgerald said the club has been "heartened" by the level of assistance and support given from other cricket clubs.
YMCA is one of the country's oldest cricket clubs and has some 200 members.
Anyone with information about the weedkiller attack are asked to contact Irishtown Garda Station on 01 666 9600.