Overnight fire and vandalism may be ‘final nail’ for NI cricket club after 155 years

Image courtesy of Sion Mills Cricket Club
Image courtesy of Sion Mills Cricket Club

A Co Tyrone cricket club is facing an uncertain future after it was vandalised and expensive equipment burned out.

The vandalism was discovered at Sion Mills Cricket Club this morning.

Image courtesy of Sion Mills Cricket Club

Image courtesy of Sion Mills Cricket Club

Club captain and secretary Simon Galloway, who has been with Sion Mills for around two decades, believes “young hoods” are behind the vandalism.

He told the News Letter: “It happened overnight. Obviously we don’t know who has done it but there has been a long standing issue with youths causing vandalism in Sion — lighting fires and what not.

“This building was our equipment store. What they’ve done is brought a ladder from somewhere, who knows where, and they’ve gone in through a hole in the roof.

“They painted this - HRY - on the roof first of all. Whatever that means, I don’t know. And then they’ve set fire to the shed.”

He continued: “Our ride-on lawnmowers, our strimmers and things like that have been destroyed. It’s groundskeeping equipment and it’s expensive stuff.

“We don’t have the money to replace it. It could be a final nail in the coffin for Sion Mills Cricket Club after 155 years.

“I’ve been with Sion Mills for years now, it’s my home club. I’ve been there for 20-plus years.

That’s where we grew up, that’s what we done. We didn’t know anything else. From what it used to be to what’s been left now is devastating.

“A few people have been on to me and talking about fundraisers and things like that, so who knows?”

He continued: “The last thing I want is to be forced to fold the thing, especially not because of some young hoods. But it will definitely take some kind of fundraising to make sure we are still there”

The PSNI said it has received a report of vandalism.