Club equipment is stolen again
Two lawnmowers and a strimmer were stolen overnight from Valleymount GAA Club after the clubhouse and a steel container were broken into.
It's a particularly cruel blow for the proud west Wicklow club as the machinery stolen had been purchased to replace two lawnmowers and a strimmer stolen last year.
'It's so disheartening,' said Club Chairman Mick Nolan.
'Our grounds are very isolated so it is difficult for anyone to notice if any night-time activity is taking place which shouldn't be. It's hard on the club because this is a very busy time of the year for us.
'Now we will have to go out and raise more funds to replace this vital machinery,' said Mr Nolan.
The break-in occurred in the early hours of Friday morning. The clubhouse double doors were damaged in order to gain entry and a lawnmower was removed.
The culprits also went through every drawer and locker in the building, throwing the contents onto the ground in an apparent search for money.
A steel container was also entered and a strimmer and another lawnmower were stolen, along with €60 worth of petrol contained in a cannister.
A local resident passing by the club grounds at 5.10 a.m. noticed a van parked in the field but felt it had probably been left there after breaking down. However, on their return journey at 7.30 a.m. they noticed that the van was gone and the gate leading into the grounds was open.
'We bought the steel container after last year's break-in. They are pretty much meant to be break-proof. It's even awkward enough to lock so whoever was responsible for breaking-in had to have had a lot of time,' said Mr Nolan.
GAA insurance only covers losses of over €4,000, meaning Valleymount GAA Club will lose out in compensation for a second year in a row.
'The chances are it was the same people who robbed us last time. Anyone buying items from these people are buying someone's misery. People's suspicions would have to be raised when someone starts offering them a lawnmower for a €100. If people weren't buying these stolen items then the club wouldn't be having these break-ins,' concluded Mr Nolan
The break-in and theft was reported to Baltinglass Gardai. If you have any information which may assist the Gardai with their investigations then contact on (059) 6482610.