OVER €10,000 worth of damage was caused when vandals broke into the Kerry District Grounds in Mounthawk Park in the early hours of Monday morning.
The damage was done to machinery and is a setback to the work currently ongoing at a new all weather pitch which is close to completion.
“Mindless thugs is what they are,” said Kerry District League Secretary, John O’Regan, speaking to TraleeToday.ie on Thursday morning.
“We haven’t been the same since. When we open the place up in the morning we’d be wondering if the place will be all right, it’s demoralising,” said John.
To gain entry to one of the machines on the grounds, the vandals threw a large plank of wood through the cab window shattering the glass on all sides.
The break-ins occurred at approximately 4:50am on Monday morning. While there, vandals smashed every window in the three machines. They also broke into offices making off with cash along with jerseys.
It had been intended that the Denny Premier Division 1A final this weekend would be the first game to be played on new all-weather pitch, but those plans have been set back due to the damage.
€500,000 had been raised for the project, which is supported by local businesses and the FAI. The incident has meant that further efforts will have to go into fundraising.
CCTV in Mounthawk Park captured the break ins, although the thieves were wearing hoodies to obscure their faces.
“There is too much of this stuff going on and it needs to be tackled. The good thing is we have CCTV here, so these people will be caught. They might have their hoodies up in one place, but they’ll drop their guard in another,” said John.
In a week of great celebration following the unprecedented victory of a Kerry team in the Kennedy Cup on Friday last, the incident has put a dampener on the mood in Mounthawk Park.
But as John O’Regan assures us, it’s a case of whatever doesn’t break them will make them stronger.
The KDL are not the only sporting organisation to be hit by vandals across town recently.
The John Mitchels bar on John Joe Sheehy Road was been targeted last week with alcohol stolen from the premies on two occasions (see story here), while on Wednesday, June 10, up at the Pitch and Putt Club in Collis Sandes, €200 worth of damage was caused but nothing taken in an attempted break-in.
If you have any information or think you may have saw something suspicious to do with any of this incidents, contact Tralee Garda Station on – 066 71 – 02300.