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Saturday 30 August 2014

Sister's shock as vandals deface footballer memorial

Brian Byrne

Published 15/04/2014 | 02:30

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Rita Whelan at the bridge named after her brother Liam (inset) in Cabra, Dublin
Rita Whelan at the bridge named after her brother Liam (inset) in Cabra, Dublin

THE sister of legendary Manchester United footballer Liam Whelan has spoken of her shock after a bridge named in his honour was defaced with offensive graffiti.

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Red spray paint was used to write the words 'Munich b******' and 'LFC' in huge letters across the Cabra, Dublin memorial for the beloved north Dubliner who died in the Munich air crash in 1958, aged just 22.

A bronze plaque bearing a depiction of the Cabra native was also entirely covered in spray paint during the incident.

Whelan was one of eight Manchester United players killed at Munich.

It is believed that the graffiti occurred sometime late on Sunday night following Liverpool's 3-2 victory over Manchester City earlier in the day.

'LFC' commonly stands for Liverpool Football Club and it is not yet known who sprayed the graffiti. Liam's younger sister Rita Whelan, who still lives in the area, burst into tears when she discovered the damage.

Ms Whelan said:"I just thought it was some sort of graffiti. I had no idea it was anything like this."

Ms Whelan claimed there had been similar incidents on the bridge since it was renamed in her brother's honour in 2006.

OFFENSIVE

However, she said none of the previous incidents were anywhere near as offensive as what was written this time around.

She said: "Why take it out on Liam? 'Munich b******'.

"It's just . . . I don't know what to say. I just can't take it in. Poor Liam."

Officials and fans from Bohemians, whose Dalymount Park ground is nearby, later worked to cover up the graffiti.

"We echo the unanimous condemnation that someone could carry out such a thoughtless and hurtful act, particularly as members of his family still live locally," said a spokesperson.

Irish Independent

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