Shock after GAA items destroyed in Killyleagh

Shock after GAA items destroyed in Killyleagh

7 April 2021

THE district’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership is to be asked replace equipment belonging to Killyleagh GAC which was destroyed in a malicious blaze last weekend.

It is believed that teenagers forced open a container which housed a range of equipment including bibs, nets and training equipment which was then set on fire.

Club officials have described what happened during the early hours of Sunday morning as “disgraceful and absolutely appalling” with the incident also condemned by Rowallane councillors Billy Walker and Terry Andrews.

They say such behaviour is “totally unacceptable” and is not welcome in Killyleagh or anywhere else and whoever was responsible will be roundly condemned.

Cllr Walker said he condemned the attack on Killyleagh GAC “without reservation” and confirmed that he plans to ask the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) if it can allocate funding to the club to replace the damaged equipment as part of a goodwill gesture.

“What happened in Killyleagh last week was nothing short of wanton vandalism and such behaviour has no place in society,” he declared.

“What happened does nothing for the community and I would appeal to anyone who has information about who was involved to make it available to the police. Such behaviour is despicable.”

Cllr Walker said all community, sports and religious facilities deserve to be treated with respect and that what happened in Killyleagh last weekend will have upset many people.

He also expressed concern that young people were congregating again to drink alcohol at the Mary’s Style area in the town.

“No one wants to see incidents of the nature that occurred in Killyleagh. What  took place was wrong and should not have happened. I will be contacting the PCSP to see if funding can be made available to replace the equipment that Killyleagh GAC has lost,” said Cllr Walker.

“That is the very least the club deserves.”

Cllr Andrews also hit out at those responsible for targeting the gaelic club and said he too condemned without reservation what happened.

“This incident will be condemned by all right-thinking people and residents in Killyleagh will be rightly upset at what has happened. There is simply no excuse for this despicable behaviour.”

Cllr Andrews said he has also been made aware of anti-social behaviour issues at the Kilmore playing fields where teenagers are gathering to drink alcohol.

“Glass has been smashed and the behaviour of these young people is annoying for residents who live nearby.  A number have contacted me and I have relayed their concerns to police,” he added.