Bandon GAA calls time on sideline drinking den

September 24th, 2019 11:49 AM

By Emma Connolly

Some of the beer bottles found on the pitch in Bandon last weekend, which prompted an angry response from the club, adding that it wasn't an isolated incident.

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BANDON GAA are installing up to 12 CCTV cameras around their grounds to deter those using it as a drinking den and destroying pitches with discarded bottles and cans.

And such is the frustration with the problem that occurs every other weekend that they are also considering locking Charlie Hurley Park in the evening time, even though it’s used by the entire community. 

Chairman Ian Doyle said that volunteers and trainers are regularly faced with having to clean up dozens of bottles, some broken, and cans, when they arrive for underage training every other Saturday and Sunday morning.  

The club, which has nearly 600 underage members, has reported to problem to gardai. 

‘Last Sunday morning, for example, I think the equivalent of five cases of beer bottles were collected before training could start. It’s very frustrating as not only does it delay training but it’s also a health and safety issue as some of the bottles can be broken leaving glass on the playing fields, in the dug-out and carpark,’ said Ian. 

The club had plans to install CCTV regardless, but have now prioritised the project and hope to have the  cameras in place in the coming weeks. 

And even though the facilities are used by the entire community, not just the GAA, Ian said they were considering locking the grounds in the evening time. 

‘We welcome people using the park and don’t want to see it locked up, but it’s something we may have to do,’ he added. 

Bandon GAA Club highlighted the problem on their Facebook page in recent days and posted pictures of the beer bottles left lying about the place. 

The post said: ‘This isn’t a one-off, it’s the sight that regularly faces our kids, coaches, parents and members. It’s disgusting and is a health and safety concern for those who have to do their best to clean the area before children can train on the pitch.

‘Thank you to the parents who are currently cleaning the pitch to allow their children train this morning. If only everyone had a little respect and consideration for others.’

Comments after the post described it as ‘disheartening,’ ‘demeaning’ and ‘disgusting.’

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