Scramblers speeding at up to 60kph on park pitch terrify kids team
A Dublin football team has revealed that scramblers being driven at high speeds are forcing children to train away from their usual pitch.
Clondalkin Celtic FC wants to see immediate action taken to stop the scourge of the bikes on the full-sized pitch they use at St Cuthbert's Park.
"We were on it about two months ago and the bikes were running across the pitch at breakneck speed, 50 to 60kph," said coach David McCarthy.
Wayne Muddiman, chairman of the club, said: "The football club is working alongside a group recognised by South Dublin County Council, the Friends of St Cuthbert's Park, looking to reclaim the park for people to use.
"I am looking at moving the football club in there as a permanent fixture, and the council will work alongside us."
He said that a high-quality camera system had been installed in the park, but it has not deterred some of the issues that are arising.
"We haven't had the chance to play a match there at the minute, and we have had to stop training in the park. I have to rent the grounds of a local college.
"We have an academy from the age of five up to 14."
He said numbers have grown hugely since they started off with 10 youngsters in the academy in 2016.
There are plans to start an all-girls academy as well this month. "We will have over 200 kids from the local Deansrath, Bawnogue area.
"We are the only ones providing a sport to the kids in the area. There is not even a playground.
"We want to get rid of the bikes out of the park and turn it back into a park where people feel safe that they can use the park, go for a walk, bring the kids out," he said.
"People walk around this park, not through it. It is not until someone is going to be seriously injured that people are actually going to get moving on this."
The next high-level task force meeting involving local representatives, gardai and the council, which will probe these issues, is not scheduled to take place again until September.
Comment was sought from South Dublin County Council and gardai.