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Bray Wanderers’ Latest Statement References North Korea (Again), Jackie Healy-Rae & The 1916 Rising

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Carlisle Grounds, Bray 14/5/2016 Bray Wanderers vs Galway United A general view of Carlisle Grounds

As if Thursday wasn’t surreal enough, Bray Wanderers have released yet another statement in response to Wicklow County Council.

The Premier Divison side gained notoriety on Thursday morning after releasing a defiant message confirming their financial security and their commitment to academy development and the rezoning of the Carlisle Grounds.

It veered off course a tad, however, when it referenced Wicklow as “the North Korea of Ireland for business,” in a statement attributed to interim chairman Gerry Mulvey.

It was enough to prompt a rebuttal from Wicklow County Council who insisted that there had been no discussion with Mulvey or anyone at Bray Wanderers regarding the rezoning of the Carlisle Grounds and they were surprised by the press release.

In a new briefing (brief probably the wrong word to use in a 1,200 word document), Bray themselves have hit back at Wicklow Council – and again reference North Korea before bringing the late TD Jackie Healy-Rae and the 1916 Easter Rising into the discussion as they lay down the gauntlet fully to the council and their alleged mistreatment and neglect of football in Wicklow:

Some excerpts include:

“In 1916 some brave Irish Men and Women stood up for the cause of Irish Freedom as they were tired of the oppression being suffered by the Irish People at the hands of the British Army. They stood up for what they believed in, and in doing so they were initially ridiculed, taunted and laughed at by the very people for whom they were giving their lives to protect.

“Yesterday we issued a statement that has drawn publicity from the Irish, UK, European, American and Asian Media. No football club in Ireland has ever had so much publicity.

“We have been laughed at for working tirelessly and giving hard earned money towards a cause that we believe to be far greater than just our Club Bray Wanderers. Our project is about Wicklow Sport and Soccer.

“Rightly so we referred to previous social commentary comparing Wicklow to North Korea as regards business where it is an impossible place to do business or succeed…Only last week Johnny Ronan was shot down for trying to build a hotel.

“When talking about business take Bray. It’s a commuter town with little to no core businesses to drive the economy independently…Talk about neglecting a town.

“What TD or Councillors have made a significant impact on Wicklow like the late Jackie Healy Rae did for Kerry, which allow them to make a significant difference…What have out TDs done for Wicklow which allows them to go to bed at night or face their constituents and say “‘yes I did that, that is my achievement and I am proud of it.’

“The people of Wicklow are tired of being neglected and if they had 5 Jackie Healy Raes who would finally get them some real results, I think the current establishment would realise their cushy numbers would not be so cushy.

“Going forward we are going to invite the current members and technical staff of Wicklow County Council with elected representatives over the next few months to visit with us a Training Academy in the UK – specifically a trip to St. George’s in England to understand how they have turned a corner in producing good players again.

“An amateur sport as in the GAA developed Croke Park to be one of the best stadiums in the world – why can’t Wicklow have the ambition to develop a world class academy? Although St. George’s cost £105m for the UK national team that is for the whole of the English setup. We are not claiming to spend that much but our ambition will be to have a substantial spend relative to the siize of Bray and Wicklow’s needs.”

“Because we have been reading cynical commentary should we just stop? Should the martyrs of 1916 have laid down their arms in the first few hours of the revolution when they were being laughed at, just gave up and left Ireland under the control of the British?

“We are accused of being money grabbers. If anyone cared to read our statement we have been clear. We are going to facility over to a Trust in favour of the people of Wicklow for the development of Football and other sports.

“Some Council members have immediately shot down our proposals and would rather leave Wicklow sport in the same way they have left Arklow with no sewage treatment plan. In summer the smell and sight from the river is disgusting. That is what the Council want Wicklow football to resemble – the excrement and disgusting state of th river in Arklow.

“We do not accept it anymore. We will develop this facility and put in place a long term plan to deal with the long term financial future for the development of the club, collective Wicklow teams and maybe afield in Ireland.”

Aside from that, Bray Wanderers take on Finn Harps on Friday night as they look to get their European hopes back on track.


On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football podcast, we caught up with Sean Maguire and Kevin O’Connor ahead of their move to Preston, and review the League of Ireland clubs’ European campaigns.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.