Two GAA clubs one in Meath and one in mid Louth havebeen targeted by, what appears to be a Northern Irish based, group attempting to pull off an old fashioned scam involving the group claiming to have tarmaced part of their grounds and demanding thousands of euros in payments for ‘the work’
And prior to Christmas Slane GFC was visited by what appears to be the same group who backed off when a number of committee members locked the gates to the clubs Toddy Harding Park and refused to allow them access.
Mark McCardle, the Naomh Fionnbarra chairman confirmed, ‘ On January 15th a volunteer working at our club was approached by a man offering to tarmac the grounds at a cost of €8 per square metre, the volunteer asked them to wait until a club official arrived but they proceeded to throw black paint and a sprinkling of gravel all over the place.
‘They immediately started demanding thousands of euro for the ‘work’
When they were not paid on the day club officials began receiving threatening phone calls.
McCardle added, ‘When we contacted Gardai we discovered these men, most of whom had Northern accents, were well known to them and on Garda advice we agreed a fee with them it was much less than they wanted but it still meant we had a dent in our finances for nothing.’
A spokesperson for Slane GFC revealed, ‘What appeared to be a work van with Northern Ireland registered plates pulled in before Christmas and tried to convince the caretaker to give them the go ahead for the job.
“However, he rang the chairperson who rang another member of the club for advice and they came across the men parked outside a local pub near the grounds
“The caretaker was advised to close the automatic gates so they couldn’t gain access.
“The men tried to tell the club member that they had received permission from the chairperson and they had to be very adamant with them in telling them no.”
One source tld Meath Live, ‘This is one of the oldest scams going, these gangs used to target householders, and it seems they are now concentrating on sports clubs, whatever they spread it is certainly not tarmac and certainly not worth the thousands they demand for doing it.’