Updated: 29/11/17 : 05:09:52
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Arrest in Co Sligo Golf Club vandalism act

A car drove on to one of Ireland's best known golf courses in broad daylight yesterday afternoon, causing thousands of euros of damage.

The County Sligo Golf Club, also known as Rosses Point, is one of the best known links courses in the country, famous for hosting the prestigious West of Ireland Amateur Championship every year.

Work on preparing the course for next year's event has already begun but it suffered a setback yesterday after a car gained access to the course from a local road.

General manager David O'Donovan told Independent.ie that while the incident could have been much worse, it will cost thousands to repair.

"There were golfers out on the course when it happened, but there were no injuries and that is the main thing.

"It happened at about 2.10pm yesterday when one of our golfers on the fifth hole spotted what he thought was a car doing handbrake turns on the seventh hole. He went to his car to call me and I was on my way back to the course when I spotted the car responsible. I was able to get the first three digits of the registration and I passed it on to the gardai.

"There was damage done to the eighth tee box and then the car was driven up the middle of the seventh hole.

"There was more damage done to the fairways, as the greens are much firmer.

"Our team of greenkeepers were out at 8am today beginning the repair work and it will take the entire team the best part of a week to repair so that is a cost in the region of €6,000.

                                   More of the damage at Co Sligo Golf Club

The good news is that O'Donovan expects the course to be playable again for members by the weekend and the 2018 West of Ireland, which is only four months away, is also not in jeopardy.

"It is earlier than normal next year due to an early Easter. We have already begun our winter work and 22 bunkers have already been restored," he said. "This is a little bit of a setback but we should be ready for the new season."

Gardai attended an incident of criminal damage at Rosses Point and confirmed that an arrest has taken place in relation to the incident.