The actions of a group of young men who cleared up the damage caused by vandals at Donaghcloney Football Club ‘stand in stark contrast to the one or two idiots who caused it’.
That was the message from local councillor Mark Baxter who condemned the vandalism at the club and a similar incident at a play area in the County Down village.
Pointing to the damage to the playpark over the weekend he said: “There has been bins emptied and many glass bottles broken throughout the site. It beggars belief that things like this take place in a place where children play and could be seriously hurt.
“We in the DUP worked very hard to secure 100k for a new playpark in Donaghcloney with work due to begin in the Autumn and I trust that folk responsible will realise that it was a hard fought battle to get something so significant within the village and I trust it will be treated with a bit of respect.
“People are furious yet relieved no child has been hurt on this occasion. I’ve met with police already on the issue and intend to again this week.”
On the damage at the football club he said: ”I would like to pay tribute to the young men who contacted me regarding damage to the club, they use the pitch and took it on themselves to clear up the damage. Their community spirit stands in stark contrast to the one or two idiots who caused the damage and sullied the good name of Donaghcloney.”
Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said: “It is sad to see that anti-social behaviour has reared its ugly head again and the Donaghcloney Football Club were the latest victims of needless vandalism on the Twelfth night.
“It has left members distressed and under pressure to get the pitch cleaned and reopened... but more than this it sucks out the civic pride in a village where people work hard to make it a great place to live only for drunken louts to leave their stains on the community.”
“This mindless sort of behaviour is unacceptable and along with other civic leaders in the village I will be meeting with the local neighbourhood police lead – Inspector Brian Mills – to find ways to root out this anti-social behaviour.
“Following on from a successful Twelfth celebration it is important to ensure those who would destroy our communities are not the main talking point, instead it must be those who bring something positive to the village of Donaghcloney and the wider community area that should be our focus.”