Bohs fans clean Munich Air Disaster graffiti on Liam Whelan memorial bridge

By Peter O’ Dwyer

Fans and officials of Bohemians took swift action today to clean and cover-up graffiti painted on the Liam Whelan memorial bridge near Cabra in Dublin.

The bridge bearing a plaque paying homage to the talented 22-year-old local lad who lost his life in the 1958 Munich Air Disaster, was defaced with the words “Munich Bastard”, with the initials “LFC” also painted above the plaque.

Volunteers organised by Bohs quickly assembled to clean the plaque and cover the remaining graffiti etched on the bridge.

In a statement posed on the club’s Facebook page, the club condemned the “thoughtless and hurtful act”.

“Bohemian FC officials and supporters today cleaned and covered up the disgusting graffiti on the nearby Liam Whelan Bridge.

“Liam was both a local and international legend. Everyone at Bohs echoes the unanimous condemnation that someone could carry out such a thoughtless and hurtful act, particularly as members of his family still live locally.”

Whelan grew up on St Attracta Road in nearby Cabra and was an Irish international with the world at his feet when disaster struck as Manchester United returned home from their European Cup quarter-final second-leg tie against Belgrade in Yugoslavia on February 6, 1958.

On the third attempt to take-off from a slush-covered runway at Munich airport, where the aircraft

had stopped to refuel, the plane carrying the famous Busby Babes along with journalists and supporters crashed resulting in 23 fatalities.

Whelan, who scored an impressive 33 goals in 53 appearances during the 1956/7 season, was only on the plane as a reserve and did not play in Belgrade.

“He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, while the railway bridge at Fassaugh Road in Cabra was renamed in his honour in 2006. Both are just a short walk from [Bohemian’s home ground] Dalymount Park,” the statement continued.

“Liam’s brother Christy is a long-time Bohs fan and is still a regular at Dayler. Christy’s grandsons Donal and Cathal are also dedicated supporters of the club.”

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