Sanctuary settles Sallins stampede at soccer grounds

SALLINS Celtic is back in business after marauding livestock threatened to put paid to their season.

SALLINS Celtic is back in business after marauding livestock threatened to put paid to their season.

Sixteen cattle broke out and on to the club’s playing surface over a week ago ruining the pitch which was in match perfect condition for the opening of the summer season.

The cattle belonged to a neighbouring farmer, Eddie O’Loughlin. His son Mark, a former Naas RFC player, who runs Sanctuary Synthetics, a Naas-based supplier of artificial grass, uses the yard for storage. One of Mark’s staff members inadvertently left a gate open, allowing the animals to escape onto the soccer pitches.

Although the pitches were effectively unplayable, cancelling the matches at short notice was not an option as the club could not afford the hefty fine which would be incurred.

Instead, Mark and four of his staff joined around ten volunteers from Sallins Celtic at 9am on Saturday morning (May 12) to put right the damage caused by the bullocks.

Marks company supplied the topsoil, rollers, tools and grass seed and together the volunteers repaired the deep divits. Johnny Langan spent the afternoon cutting and rolling the turf while the players marked out the pitch so that the Sunday matches could be played.

Club secretary Patrick Keane said: “Mark and his father have been very supportive of the club over the years. The last thing we wanted to do was go down the insurance route to solve the problem. They immediately took responsibility and used their men and resources to turn things around. It’s a case of the community pulling together to avert disaster.”

Mr O’Loughlin said his company is committed to sponsoring the ongoing maintenance costs of the field.

Sallins Celtic were beaten by Dunlavin in their first match on Sunday but they drew against Newbridge Hotspurs in the Kildare District Football League.