Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS - By MYLES BUCHANAN

TWO LAWNMOWERS and a strim­mer were stolen overnight from Valleymount GAA Club af­ter the clubhouse and a steel con­tainer were bro­ken into.

It’s a par­tic­u­larly cruel blow for the proud west Wick­low club as the machin­ery stolen had been pur­chased to re­place two lawnmowers and a strim­mer stolen last year.

‘It’s so dis­heart­en­ing,’ said Club Chair­man Mick Nolan.

‘Our grounds are very iso­lated so it is dif­fi­cult for any­one to no­tice if any night-time ac­tiv­ity is tak­ing place which shouldn’t be. It’s hard on the club be­cause this is a very busy time of the year for us.

‘Now we will have to go out and raise more funds to re­place this vi­tal machin­ery,’ said Mr Nolan.

The break-in oc­curred in the early hours of Fri­day morn­ing. The clubhouse dou­ble doors were dam­aged in or­der to gain en­try and a lawn­mower was re­moved.

The cul­prits also went through ev­ery drawer and locker in the build­ing, throw­ing the con­tents onto the ground in an apparent search for money.

A steel con­tainer was also en­tered and a strim­mer and an­other lawn­mower were stolen, along with €60 worth of petrol con­tained in a can­nis­ter.

A lo­cal res­i­dent pass­ing by the club grounds at 5.10 a.m. no­ticed a van parked in the field but felt it had prob­a­bly been left there af­ter breaking down. How­ever, on their re­turn jour­ney at 7.30 a.m. they no­ticed that the van was gone and the gate lead­ing into the grounds was open.

‘We bought the steel con­tainer af­ter last year’s break-in. They are pretty much meant to be break-proof. It’s even awk­ward enough to lock so who­ever was re­spon­si­ble for breaking-in had to have had a lot of time,’ said Mr Nolan.

GAA in­surance only cov­ers losses of over €4,000, mean­ing Valleymount GAA Club will lose out in com­pen­sa­tion for a sec­ond year in a row.

‘The chances are it was the same peo­ple who robbed us last time. Any­one buy­ing items from these peo­ple are buy­ing some­one’s mis­ery. Peo­ple’s sus­pi­cions would have to be raised when some­one starts of­fer­ing them a lawn­mower for a €100. If peo­ple weren’t buy­ing these stolen items then the club wouldn’t be hav­ing these break-ins,’ con­cluded Mr Nolan

The break-in and theft was re­ported to Balt­in­glass Gar­dai. If you have any in­for­ma­tion which may as­sist the Gar­dai with their in­ves­ti­ga­tions then con­tact on (059) 6482610.

“Any­one buy­ing items from these peo­ple are buy­ing some­one’s mis­ery”

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