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'very disappointed' Dublin football club issues plea after scramblers wreck pitch

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A local football club in North Dublin has appealed for quad bike users and scramblers bikers to leave their pitches alone after damage was caused to their amenities last week. 

Rivermount Boys Football Club, a popular soccer club located on St Helena's Road, Finglas South, Dublin has endured a number of incidents where bikers have torn up the surface as they ride their bikes and quads on the pitches.

In the most recent incident a series of rough tracks and circles where the culprits have apparently done “doughnuts” are clearly visible.

The Northside club has now appealed for the bikers to stop damaging their pitches.

A post on their Facebook page of January 11 states: ‘Rivermount Boys FC are very disappointed and disheartened to find that our pitches have been found in this state. Please stop destroying our pitches with quads/bikes etc’

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The secretary of the club, Rory Maher, said that there are gates and railings protecting the pictches but the culprits still manage to get their bikes onto the grounds.

“Two pitches were damaged over the weekend, but this is not the first time,” he said. “And this has increasingly become an issue since scramblers and quad bikes have become more popular in recent years.”

Even though there is no football on at the moment under Covid-19 restrictions, Mr Maher said it was still disheartening.

“We cater for kids here from age four and all the way up,” he said. “And most are local. I would say to the local community to help us stop these activities.”

The Dublin soccer football club, based in Finglas, has teams who play their home soccer matches at pitches in Tolka Valley.

Between the various teams that compete in the Dublin and District Schoolboys League and a local academy, the club usually caters for over 120 kids.

Just before Christmas, An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) launched a public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers quad bikes and scramblers pose to children.

Three of six people who died in Ireland as a result of an incident involving a quad bike or scrambler were aged 18 or under between 2014 and 2019, according to provisional statistics.

The casualty figures also show that between 2014 and 2019, 60 people were injured in collisions involving a quad bike or scrambler on a public road.

Of those killed or injured during this period, 41% of casualties were aged 18 or under.

“The use of scramblers and quads by children poses a serious safety hazard. These are powerful machines, which have the potential to severely or even fatally injure someone,” Garda Assistant Commissioner Paula Hillman said.

“This is why they are not suitable to be used by children or inexperienced riders,” Hillman said.

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