Growing concern over vandalism at new sports hub

Plans for the Clonmel Sports Hub, contracts were signed on July 20,2021. Picture courtesy of LIT.

Concerns have been raised after groups of teens posted TikTok’s of their anti-social behaviour and vandalism at the new Clonmel Sports Hub.

The site which is adjacent to the TUS campus in the town has been subjected to such activity over the last number of weeks and most recently over the long weekend.

Bernie Goldbach is a Creative Lecturer at the college and says this may lessen when the area officially opens but there needs to be community engagement and action in the meantime.

Describing the vandals as ‘performers’ he said they were identifiable through their social media profiles and this was going to be passed on to Gardaí.

“I’d say there’s eight primary performers. You can trace it all the way down the accounts they have and then the background imagery – likes who is in the background and all that. So I would say that you probably have the same people because you kind of have to work at your camera technique as well as your performance technique so some of the same faces. I also think though that there are friends wanting to be in the frame. Just having that happen attracts people then you have the merchandising that’s happening – some drug trafficking that’s happening there.”

Over the last number of weeks members of TUS have seen anti-social behaviour, graffiti, and littering, most recently over the St. Patrick’s weekend, where videos were also posted on social media.

Bernie Goldbach says that there isn’t protections in place such as fencing and there are also a number of escape routes for those involved which makes catching them harder for Gardaí.

He told Tipp Today that they refuse to chase the individuals involved – who he says are the same core group – but want to engage with them and create a space for everyone.

“The cyclists, the runners, the skateboarders all do want to sit around the table. We’re thinking of holding a meeting in the canteen later this month to say do you all want to sit down lads and talk about what do you envisage as being this. Write up some kind of memorandum that says here’s how we’ve all got to pull together on this. Try to get Tipp Co. Co. involved in that, see if TUS wants to play as a silent partner. They all do want to sit now – we’re making a little item of live community interest. The Guards I’m sure could have an input.”