Furious Redmonds set to call Gardaí on pitch invaders

GAA players found trespassing on the pitch of Cork club Redmonds will be reported to the Gardaí, the club has warned.
Furious Redmonds set to call Gardaí on pitch invaders

The Redmonds club official said the pitch is “jointed” most evenings and at weekends, putting undue stress on club officers who cannot be expected to police the venue 24/7. File photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
The Redmonds club official said the pitch is “jointed” most evenings and at weekends, putting undue stress on club officers who cannot be expected to police the venue 24/7. File photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

GAA players found trespassing on the pitch of Cork club Redmonds will be reported to the Gardaí, the club has warned.

A club official caught 30 players training on the Redmonds pitch close to Cork airport on Tuesday evening, none of whom were members of the Redmonds club.

The players, who were part of two separate groups training at the Lehenaghmore venue on the outskirts of Cork city, vacated the pitch after they were asked to do so.

Recent vandalism of the fence enclosing the pitch has created a gap directly behind one of the goals, through which players are gaining access to the field.

The Redmonds club official said the pitch is “jointed” most evenings and at weekends, putting undue stress on club officers who cannot be expected to police the venue 24/7.

Fed up with players from other clubs using their pitch for organised training, the club has told the Irish Examiner that, going forward, any player or team found using the pitch will be reported to the Gardaí.

The club also intends taking photographs of the teams who continue to use their field to flout the GAA’s return-to-play roadmap.

On foot of complaints from Redmonds, UCC, and the general public, Cork County Board wrote to clubs on Monday pleading with them to desist from organised training until June 29.

The letter included correspondence from UCC’s Department of Sport who, similar to Redmonds, warned of Garda involvement if unauthorised activity continues on their pitches at the Mardyke and the Farm, Curraheen.

A lack of “direct evidence” means the Cork executive, up to now, has not been in a position to take action against those engaging in “reckless” behaviour. That may change if photographs are supplied by Redmonds or other frustrated parties.

The club said a second letter of complaint was being sent to the county board following Tuesday evening’s discovery of approximately 30 players using their field for training purposes.

“One of the groups on Tuesday had two bags of footballs and the sticks you put into the ground for drills. They came prepared, this was an organised session,” said a Redmonds club official.

If the players from this particular club think they are going to go into our pitch and use it, and their own pitches idle, they are very much mistaken. There is no way we are leaving them in there.

“We have signs above saying trespassers will be prosecuted, but sure they are not taking any notice of them. We've come to the conclusion now that the next time we catch teams up there, we are not going to throw them out at all, we are going to call the Gardaí and tell them these teams are trespassing.

“We are going to take photographs. We will have evidence then as they'll be identifiable. They are thinking that because Redmonds is a small club, what trouble can they make.

“Clubs have no authority to be using our pitch. They are not insured. Surely the people involved in the running of these clubs and teams must know that they are going somewhere [to train].

“We won’t even allow our own fellas up there and yet, the amount of people that was in there on Tuesday was unbelievable.”

Redmonds feel the issue needs urgent addressing as players are strolling onto their pitch without any consideration for the fact they are not supposed to be there and the lack of insurance cover given the GAA’s player injury scheme remains suspended.

“What annoyed me on Tuesday night was that after each player got out of their car, they didn't have to look to see where they got in, they just went straight over to where the bars had been removed, which says they’ve been there before.

“On Tuesday, I said to two fellas, 'where are you going?' They said, 'we are going in here for a game of ball'. I said, ‘how did ye know ye could get in’. One replied, 'everyone at work knows about it'. Word gets around, ‘go up to Redmonds, the bars are broke’. We'll put the bars back up, but somebody will come along again and cut them off.

“People living in Farmer's Cross, which is just down the road from the pitch, they walk their dogs up around the pitch and they have said to us, ‘what's going on in the pitch, are Redmonds back training?’ I said, ‘no, why?’ They said, ‘the place is jointed’.

“This can’t be let continue.”

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.