A view of one of the vandalised goalposts at Kilfeacle RFC. Photo Stevie O'Donnell.
Kilfeacle Rugby Club is working against the clock to get its playing pitches repaired in time for a busy weekend of matches after vandals cut down goalposts last Saturday night forcing the postponement of a Munster League game.
Kilfeacle RFC Secretary Michelle Noonan has described the "heartbreak" and "disbelief" felt by the Club's more than 200 members over the shocking act of vandalism at Morrissey Park, which is being investigated by the Gardai.
Ms Noonan along with Sgt. John Kingston of Tipperary Town Garda Station have appealed to members of the public who know anything about the vandalism or saw suspicious activity in the vicinity of Morrissey Park last Saturday night/ Sunday morning to contact Tipperary Garda Station.
"It's hard to fathom as to how or why this could happen," Ms Noonan told The Nationalist. "It's hard to take. We are a voluntary organisation with so many volunteers who are involved for the love of the sport," she told The Nationalist.
"We have a great community, great management, coaches, members and parents. It's heartbreaking to see something like this happen. Hopefully the Gardai can get to the bottom of it."
The damaged goalposts were discovered by Club volunteers who arrived at Morrissey Park at 10am on Sunday to prepare the grounds for the Munster League match between Kilfeacle's first team and Co. Limerick side Newcastle West scheduled for 2.30pm.
A goalpost on each of the Club's two playing pitches was cut down. Ms Noonan said the two damaged goalposts were located on the Tipperary Town end of Morrissey Park.
Sgt. Kingston said the culprit or culprits would have needed an angle grinder or consaw to cut down the posts. The goalposts on the Club's training pitch, which is closer to the road, weren't damaged.
Ms Noonan said after discovering the vandalism they had to contact the Munster branch of the IRFU, the association representing referees, Newcastle West Rugby Club and their own players to inform them about the match cancellation.
She said assessors visited Morrissey Park on Monday to assess the damage and the Club is now working to get the goalposts restored in time to host four matches scheduled to be played on the two pitches this Saturday and Sunday.
One of the fixtures is a Munster Challenge game between Kilfeacle RFC's 1st team and Galbally on Saturday. The Club's 2nd team, U-16 and U-18 teams are also due to play at their home ground this weekend.
She said the damage to the goalposts impacted on all Club members. Their underage members wouldn't be able to play blitz games or train on the pitches until the goalposts were back in place..
Ms Noonan paid tribute to the members of local sports clubs who have contacted Kilfeacle RFC since the vandalism incident to offer their support and help and express their disappointment at the damage caused at Morrissey Park.
Anyone with information that may assist the Garda investigation into the vandalism should contact Tipperary Garda Station at (062) 51212.