A devastated Navan soccer club has vowed to 'keep fighting' back after the second arson attack at their grounds by vandals who the club has slated as 'mindless scumbags.'
Thousands of euro of damage was caused when a bag of rubbish was dragged to the dressing rooms of OMP and set alight at about 1.30am this morning (Sunday)
Kids football kits and training equipment were destroyed by smoke damage and it's likely a new ceiling is on the repair list after the fire spread up the outside wall and into the roof of the building at Blackcastle.
The arson attack is the second such incident at the grounds which has counted the costs of six episodes of vandalism in the last three years, according to committee member Declan Jordan.
Just last January, the pitch was ripped up when a driver pulled hand-break turns across the manicured grounds.
"I got a call from the fire services at about 2am last night about the latest incident. Mindless scumbags had dragged a bag of rubbish to the dressing rooms and lit it.
"Thankfully the fire services were called before the blaze had caught complete hold but there's still a lot of smoke damage and damage inside. The destroyed training gear and the kits cost nearly €2,000 before repairs to the place itself.
"This is about the sixth incident at the club in the last three years so it does wear you down.
"You think do we keep going, it's that disheartening but then you see all the support from people on social media and then you say to yourself, well we're going to keep fighting back.
"There are 180 kids at the club and two adult teams and there are a lot of coaches here who put so much time and effort into the club. They were all disheartened and gutted this morning."
In recent months, the club got planning permission for security fencing and CCTV at the grounds and they hope to have these installed in the next month.
"They will hopefully act as a deterrent not only to vandals but also to the people who continue to let their dogs foul across the pitch and those who use the grounds as an illegal dump," he said.
Meanwhile, the incident has generated anger on social media by hundreds of people who have posted their outrage.
"Scumbags' and 'scum' was the general phrase used to describe the vandals.
One post said: "An absolute disgrace. So disheartening for all the volunteers involved with OMP who work so hard for the club for vandals to do this."
Another stated: "Terrible attack on the community of sport" while yet another added: "It's very sad that there are young people who feel the need to do this."
Navan gardai are investigating and anyone with information can contact the station at 046 9036100 or call OMP members at 0873566486 or (086) 893 0767.