Wednesday 16 October 2019

Blaze destroys former Bray Golf Club

TD seeks cross-county agreement after Dublin tenders respond to fire

Members of Dublin Fire Brigade battling the blaze at the former golf club
Members of Dublin Fire Brigade battling the blaze at the former golf club

Mary Fogarty

The former Bray Golf Club premises went up in flames last Sunday evening, over 100 years after the club was founded in Bray.

In an apparent accidental misreporting of the exact location, Dublin Fire Brigade responded to the report rather than Wicklow Fire Service. It is understood that they were under the impression initially that the fire was at nearby Ravenswell School.

The derelict clubhouse is located on development lands linked to the Pizarro plans and no longer associated with golf. Up until around four years ago there was a small nine-hole pitch and putt facility managed from the site.

Bray Golf moved in 2003 to a new 18-hole golf course on Bray Head, as part of a multi-million deal with Pizarro.

Six units of Dublin Fire Brigade and command support attended the blaze on Sunday evening at around 7 p.m., the units including a turntable ladder, hydraulic platform and water tanker.

The clubhouse is located close to the railway line, as well as Coláiste Ráithín and Ravenswell.

Superintendent Pat Ward of Bray Garda Station said that there was nothing to indicate anything suspicious. He said that the scene was examined and while there had possibly been some loitering, and perhaps an accidental fire, there was no indication of anything malicious.

Responding to a query from Deputy John Brady as to why it was Dublin Fire Brigade who responded to the blaze, they said that they would raise the matter with the Easter Regional Control Centre. The control centre is responsible for despatch.

Deputy Brady had yet to receive an official response at the time of going to press.

Dublin Fire Brigade had not responded at the time of going to press to a request from this newspaper for information.

Deputy Brady said that the site is within the jurisdiction of Wicklow Fire Service. While the exact location may not have been reported correctly, he has called for agreement to be made between the two authorities.

'The nearest fire service was not alerted,' said Deputy Brady. 'It shows how ludicrous this situation is with no agreement put in place to deal with border fires.'

He said that there appears to be major reluctance to allow Wicklow personnel to go over the border, whereas there are agreements in place between Kildare and Wicklow. 'This has been a problem before with areas like Old Conna and it's going to get worse. Major developments of thousands of residential properties are planned for areas on the border between Wicklow and Dublin.'

Deputy Brady said that this is no reflection on his faith in the work of Dublin Fire Brigade, but 'without doubt Bray would have been there quicker,' he said.

'It's a warning shot really,' said Deputy Brady. 'Fires do not recognise county boundaries.'

Bray People