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Community rallies as Drogheda...
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Community rallies as Drogheda Boys and Girls club burned down

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

23:00 15 May 2021

Drogheda Boys and Girls Football Club found themselves victim to an arson attack that left their facilities destroyed - and there is a GoFundMe set up to help them replace them.

The club released a statement on Saturday that reflected the despair felt by a club set up to cater for children:

"Today was a bad day. Years of work taken to build something up, taken away because someone was determined to burn it down for the craic. For entertainment," it reads.

"To the twenty-six 6 & 7 year-olds and their families who showed up for their first-ever day at the club to find it and all its equipment up in flames, today we are so sorry.

"To the quick-thinking coached who were still able to do their best and give the kids as much of a positive experience as possible while firefighters battled the blaze, today you are our heroes.

Drogheda arson

"The same for the other coaches, and players, who went ahead with sessions today. That kept us going when it seemed like we might just give up.

"To the wider general and local football communities, who have had to listen to us defend our area and its potential, today we are embarrassed.

"To the Fire Service and Gardai who spent all day making things safe and investigating, today we are impressed.

"To the group of around 30 or so boys and girls aged around 12-18, who spent the night drinking in our ground before setting fire to it: Today you should be proud of yourself. It was the second time you tried to burn our club down by stealing someone's wheelie bins and setting them on fire against our walls this week, and this time you were successful. When you showed up to goad us while we cleaned up the damage? Pur class.

"What have you achieved? Well, apart from the 6 & 7 year olds that had their first day ruined, can you imagine how excited they were all week? You outdid yourself there. Or the amount of money lost? Too early to tell, really, but we reckon between 10 and 50 grand up in smoke - yup, yup.

"But that's ok, because it wasn't your money, was it? No, it was the €2 your granny threw to a collection bucket outside mass, or the €5 your mam paid for a raffle ticket, or the €10 your dad paid for you to attend the Paddy Mooney camp."

The statement continued to address those responsible.

"Apart from the ones who we arranged to go to the Aviva for free to watch the Ireland team play. Apart from the ones that use out astro outside (or inside) club hours, whivh involves us cleaning up your litter afterwards, or maybe fixing the fences after you get bored of pulling them apart, or just keeping an eye on you to make sure you are safe and not being bullied when you use it.

"Apart from when you or your big brother or sister walks the dog on our pitches and we turn a blind eye most of the time, because, well, they're only walking their dogs. Still, after they're gone, some sap will have to lift their dogshit, so apart from that.

"So apart from all that, and god knows what else, you are dead right, we do nothing for you and we deserve it. Maybe that's the end of some of those things now. Maybe the people who do all that for free won't bother anymore.

"So today is your day, enjoy it.

"But we'll be back tomorrow."

Thankfully, the football and wider communities are rallying around to sort out donations for a club doing their bit.

See if you can do yours too.

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