A local football club in Sallynoggin is thanking generous donors for their support, after their equipment was torched over the weekend.
On Saturday, Sallynoggin Pearse Football Club was broken into, with their equipment and new kits set fire to causing thousands of euro worth of damage.
Club chairman of Sallynoggin Pearse FC, Richard Cummins, told Dublin Gazette they were livid when they saw what happened.
“It’s not exactly what you want to be finding when you’re turning up to play on a Sunday morning in the lashings of rain,” said Richard.
“It wouldn’t be uncommon to see a small bonfire around there. There’s been kids drinking around there for the last 8-9 weeks and they leave an awful mess. I just thought it was another bonfire.
“Then as we got closer to the clubhouse, I noticed a couple of footballs, and then I saw a big hole in the side of the clubhouse. They ransacked the inside of the clubhouse. Everything they could pull out was put on a bonfire.
“We don’t have a lot. The sickener was that we were only after getting new sets of gear sponsored by George from the Noggin Inn. He sponsored two brand new sets of gear which was burnt and any back up gear was burnt.
“They put all the footballs, training gear, cones, bibs, hurdles, corner gear, you name it, burnt. It was a kick in the you know what.
“To say we were angry is an understatement.
“We know exactly who has done it. They were stupid enough to take photographs and videos dancing around the bonfire. The Guards are involved.”
Getting emotional over the outpouring of support from the local community, Richard said the response has been “unbelievable.”
“The one good thing to come out of this is the community, and the football community, have been great to us. The amount of message of support and offers of a lend of training gear. It restores your faith in humanity.
“We’re absolutely blown away by the support we’ve had, it means such a lot.
“The thing that got me was that some of the players said some of the neighbours were knocking in saying, ‘I haven’t got a lot, but here’s a fiver or a tenner to go towards replacing your gear.’
“A lot of the local businesses [in Sallynoggin] have weighed in as well. Every cloud has a silver lining.”
A GoFundMe Page was set up this week, to replace what was damaged and they have already surpassed their goal to raise €2,000, with support still flooding in.
On Monday night, councillor Melisa Halpin (PBP) also welcomed a decision at the area committee to provide a temporary container for the club.
She added: “However, it is vitally important that the plans for the permanent club house are finalised as soon as possible.”