“Mindless thugs” have been blamed for yet another act of vandalism at Portadown Boat Club.
Damage was caused to the club’s jetty at the weekend, in what has been described by officials as becoming almost a weekly occurrence.
Portadown Club Captain Christine McCullough said the club’s annual regatta would normally have taken place over the Bank Holiday weekend and only because of a date change to this coming Saturday meant the event wasn’t affected.
“It is still our fear that there will be further damage this weekend ahead of the regatta,” Christine said.
She added: “We will have clubs from all over Northern Ireland attending and we really don’t want to see a repeat of what’s happened in recent weeks.
“There is also a safety issue as the damage can make it treacherous on the jetty and slipway.”
“There is a problem with anti-social behaviour at weekends and in the past there has been graffiti on the boathouse, as well the boards being ripped from the jetty; it really is an ongoing problem.”
The vandalism is believed to have occurred sometime overnight on Friday, with planks on the jetty being pulled up, leaving gaps and making it dangerous for club members using the facility.
DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said those responsible for the vandalism “need to feel the full force of the law”.
Condemning the damage caused, Ms Lockhart said: “Mindless thugs are the words that spring to mind. This is a well used community facility that will play host to a large boating event next Saturday.
“It is just shocking to think that there are those in society who set out to destroy and cause destruction.
“I am thankful that this has not and will not deter the club or the planned event next week.
“Council will be working to fix the problems created by these individuals and I would appeal for anyone who has any information about this to come forward to the PSNI and report it.”