Longford people are being urged to be extra vigilant following a series of reports that a fundraising scam is in operation in Longford town. Two young males have been walking the streets of Longford purporting to be fundraisers for the Longford Community Youth Hurling team. The men, who are believed to be in their late teens, first came to light about two weeks ago when word reached members of the Longford Hurling team of their activities.
“We first heard that they were collecting up at Railway Meadows,” said Sean Stakelum, a coach and former chairman with Longford Hurling Team. “Someone else then said it to me and other members of the management team started to learn of it too.”
However, the frequency of the fraud did not come to light until a recent meeting of Longford Hurling officials.
“At that meeting we became alarmed as we had different reports coming in. We then notified the gardai,” said Sean.
For Sean, the story did not end there. Last Friday as he was driving through Teffia Park he saw two youths going door to door. Out of curiosity he stopped them and asked them who they were fundraising for. They showed him their sponsorship card.
“It said at the top Longford Community Youth Hurling,” said Sean. “It looked pretty full. They swore to me in good faith that they were on the hurling team and told me that they went training Tuesday and Thursday evening. There’s no training on those nights.”
When Sean advised the youths that he was going to contact the guards, they left.
“They didn’t appear afraid though. They just headed off down the road towards Lidl.”
The youths, who are currently being investigated by Gardai, also appeared in the Irish Nationwide offices last Friday trying to raise funds for the ‘Longford Community Youth Hurling’. Once again Longford’s Hurling officials were notified and the Gardai were contacted.
According to Longford Gardai all funds reclaimed following the capture of these two youths will be given to a worthwhile charity. Meanwhile, people are asked to request a permit or licence from any fundraiser.