HOME FARM FC have been forced to close down an 11-aside and small-sided pitch in the VEC Whithall after they were ‘ploughed’ up by a quad-bike vandal on Saturday night.
And sadly, it’s not the first time the venue has been targeted with the same fields churned up in a mud fest a couple of years ago though illegal use by an ‘outside’ sports club.
It means that several teams within the club have been deprived of football and training facilities nnce again and although the sports facility is owned by the VEC, there is a long-standing arrangement with the schoolboy club for use of the venue going back over 40 years.
The club are convinced that the culprit is local in that the damage is being done by a quad bike and unless it is brought in on the back of a trailer, it must be of local origin.
The ground was also used by an adult sports team some years ago who never sought permission but managed to wreak significant damage because the training involved shuttle runs which left deep ruts on the playing fields.
Said Pat Clifford, Home Farm groundsman: “This is a terrible blow to so many kids here in Home Farm to be deprived of pitches on the back of someone else’s illegal abuse of the ground. We are indebted to the VEC for their understanding going back over a long period of time and we will work with them to undertake remedial work to repair the damage – but this really is simply another form of anti-social behaviour that needs to be tackled.”
“We believe the the perpetrator or perpetrators are coming from close-by and doing this untold damage which is clearly visible. We would appeal as a club to anyone who knows someone with a quad to earnestly appeal to them to stay away from this venue. There is no permission for the use of quad-bikes and we have notified the Garda Siochana about the illegal use of the venue.”
“This is soul-destroying when you see the damage inflicted on the pitches. It’s not right and if anyone can help us identify who is doing this we would like to explain just how damaging their action are to so many in this club and that it simply has to stop.”