‘Someone could be killed’ - Dolans officials

The destruction at Seans Dolans. (1907SL04)
The destruction at Seans Dolans. (1907SL04)

There have been calls for what is remaining of Sean Dolan’s club house to be demolished. The level of vandalism directed at the club is such, officials fear that someone may be killed.

Club members are currently standing guard over the building in a bid to halt the devastation visited on it. Dolans officials are even staggering their lunch breaks from work in order to maximise cover during the day and staying late into the night in order to prevent furher attacks.

The GAA club in Creggan was significantly damaged by fire in late December of last year. The club house has remained closed since then.

Since the commencement of the summer holidays however an anti-social element has completely devastated what remained of the community sports facility. Door ways which were bricked up in order to secure the building have been knocked through, entire ceilings have been razed to the ground, roof tiles have been knocked off, windows broken, doors attacked with hatchets and manhole covers stolen leaving dangerous drops within the grounds.

One committee member, who did not wish to be named told the ‘Journal:’ “I cannot stress how urgent the need to demolish this unit is, someone is going to be killed!

“We had taken all appropriate precautions, but clearly they are intent on the total destruction of the club.”

Dolans under 16 coach, Kieran Wilkinson said: “We are not even talking about teenagers here. Many of the children responsible are not even teens yet. That age range is concerning. Something does need to be done. It isn’t just people from the nearby area responsible however as the clubhouse has become a gathering point for children who treat it like an adventure park. They don’t realise the danger they are putting themselves in.”

Outlining the clubs determination to stay in Creggan, Mr. Wilkinson said: “We are a proud Creggan club and will move for nobody.”

Though he did admit the club was at “crisis point”.

“We are crying out for help since the fire and are determined to keep putting teams on the pitch.”

Those teams have had to relocate in order to keep training. One session was held at Prehen Pitches on July 12.

“There were buses and marchers walking past as we trained,” said Mr. Wilkinson. “It was a little surreal.”

The original fire in December was initially deemed “unsuspicious” by PSNI at the time.

However when CCTV footage was returned to the club suspicious shadows moments before the blaze started were identified. The matter was then passed to the Police Ombudsmand’s Office.

The ‘Journal has learnt that their officers are in the closing stages of completing that report.

A source informed the ‘Journal;’ “There is one more step to be completed then the report can be compiled. That step is out of our hands so we are waiting on that.”

No further details on that “final step” were given.