Pho­tog­ra­pher Bar­bara Flynn and re­porter Mary Fog­a­rty look back on what made the head­lines in 2008

Bray People - - News -


20-year-old Sean Keane lost his fight for life on Christ­mas Day. Grief was wide­spread as the only son of RTE news reader Una O’Ha­gan and ra­dio jour­nal­ist Colm Keane died fol­low­ing a long bat­tle with can­cer.

Own­ers of the Tara Care Cen­tre, Paul and Anne Costello were fined €2,000 for charges re­lat­ing to the dis­ap­pear­ance of 87-year-old Maura Reynolds from their nurs­ing home on Christ­mas night 2005.

The Holy Rosary Church in Grey­stones be­gan a year of cel­e­bra­tions of their 100th birth­day.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple came to­gether at the Holy Redeemer to pay trib­ute to the late Breda Duane, a de­voted wife, mother, teacher and friend who had passed away af­ter a long ill­ness.


The re­mains of Maura Reynolds were found on the side of Bray Head, less than a mile from where she van­ished, and over three years af­ter her dis­ap­pear­ance.

Snow fell in the Sally Gap on the first day of Spring.

Traders stepped up their cam­paign for more park­ing spa­ces in the town, gath­er­ing 3,000 sig­na­tures from peo­ple in Bray.


A spate of car fires plagued Bray over the course of one week. Gar­daí in­ves­ti­gated a pos­si­ble link be­tween the blazes.

Con­tro­versy erupted over the open­ing of a ‘head shop’ in the ar­cade, a re­tail out­let sell­ing ‘le­gal highs.’

Spe­cial Olympics cham­pi­ons Derek Kelly, Rita Dunne and Claire Byrne were Grand Mar­shals of the St. Pa­trick’s Day Pa­rade, which was in­ter­rupted by a fire en­gine rush­ing to the scene of a fire on Bray Head.

There was dis­ap­point­ment at the an­nounce­ment that the Grey­stones Arts Fes­ti­val would be can­celled in 2008, due to lack of fund­ing and staff.


Timmy Ka­vanagh was sen­tence to five years for the killing of his friend, Yo­han Ver­ho­even, whom he ran through with a sword dur­ing a co­caine-fu­elled party in his Shankill home.

Mary Mur­ray, the Widow of fire fighter Brian Mur­ray, faced evic­tion from her Wood­brook Glen home for non-pay­ment of rent.

A jobs blow hit Bray as Quan­tum Per­sonal Care (for­merly Fi­a­cla) an­nounced its forth­com­ing clo­sure. 28 peo­ple lost their jobs.

Lo­cal man Kevin Mur­phy cel­e­brated his 40th birth­day at the sum­mit of Mount Kil­i­man­jaro in Africa.


There were more lo­cal job losses, as com­puter gi­ant Dell an­nounced that over 200 staff would be shed in Ire­land, the ma­jor­ity of those from Cher­ry­wood.

Trader Shane Rowan at­tached a lock and chain to the site of the ill-fated Floren­tine Cen­tre to high­light the de­vel­oper’s fail­ure to start work on the project. The act was con­demned as a ‘stunt’ by Town Clerk Chris­tine Flood.

Bray Jazz Fes­ti­val 2008 was a ma­jor suc­cess, with some of the finest mu­si­cians in the world de­scend­ing on the town for the an­nual event.

Hero Frank Gor­don pulled an un­con­scious Bill Ryan from the blaze, as flames en­gulfed Ryan’s Florence Road home.

Cllr. Pat Vance wres­tled thief Dean Gray to the ground, bravely thwart­ing his at­tempt to hold-up the pet shop on Florence Road us­ing a toy gun.

Derek Kelly, three-times medal win­ner at the Spe­cial Olympics, was named Per­son of the Year 2008.


A man was held up at gun­point in his jeep out­side the Co. Wick­low Lawn Ten­nis Club. Gar­daí later re­cov­ered the firearm in a search of the area.

A group of New York fire fight­ers de­scended on Bray in a week­end-long visit to pay trib­ute to fallen Bray fire­men Mark O’Shaugh­nessy and Brian Mur­ray.

John Cash was sen­tenced to six years in prison for break­ing in to a Dublin apart­ment where he drank tea with the res­i­dent and said he ‘bonded’ with her.

Grey­stones lost its Blue Flag sta­tus af­ter fail­ing to meet strict EU wa­ter qual­ity guide­lines.

The va­cant LaTouche Ho­tel in Grey­stones went on the mar­ket with a €15 mil­lion price tag af­ter go­ing in to re­ceiver­ship.

Hav­ing fallen in to a state of dis­re­pair, New­cas­tle Com­mu­nity was saved from clo­sure af­ter 26 years by a group of lo­cal peo­ple who be­gan a fundrais­ing cam­paign.

Bray Com­mu­nity Play-group closed its doors af­ter a quar­ter of a cen­tury. The play-group’s fund­ing was cut off forc­ing its clo­sure.

Wick­low said ‘No’ to the rat-


Grey­stones women Laura Holly and Zoe Fin­negan wit­nessed the mur­der of a fel­low vol­un­teer as they car­ried out char­ity work in Tan­za­nia.

Golfer Robert Ho­gan com­pleted a round in 56 min­utes, 20 sec­onds and in 75 shots in aid of House of Dreams.

A Pol­ish man was sav­agely beaten with a crow­bar as he walked to his home on Green­park Road. He spent sev­eral months in hospi­tal af­ter the at­tack.

Mundy opened what was to be­come the best Sum­mer­fest yet, with the amaz­ing air-dis­play turn­ing out to be the high­light of the fes­ti­val.

The Floren­tine plans in their orig­i­nal form were shelved. It was an­nounced that park­ing spa­ces and as few as two shops would be in­stalled on the site in­stead.

There was much con­ster­na­tion be­tween coun­cil­lors, mem­bers of the pub­lic and res­i­dents of Dun­cairn Ter­race as home-own­ers em­ploy a clamp­ing ser­vice to stop il­le­gal park­ing on the pri­vate road.

Bray Post Of­fice was robbed at gun point, spark­ing fresh con­cerns for the se­cu­rity of staff and cus­tomers us­ing the busy Quinns­bor­ough Road of­fice.


Tor­ren­tial rain­fall caused ma­jor flood­ing across Bray, Grey­stones and the rest of the county. Mu­si­cian Ron­nie Drew died the same day, to deep sad­ness amongst his fam­ily, friends and neigh­bours in Grey­stones.

Su­per­model Erin O’Con­ner was spot­ted hav­ing lunch in Bray, with a mys­te­ri­ous stranger on her arm.

Grey­stones came alive with mu­sic, dance, colour and fun when the Grey­stones Town Fes­ti­val took place in and around the the­atre.

A Ca­puchin mon­key caused a ‘tail’back on the N11. Gina had es­caped from her en­clo­sure in Copeswood Aviaries in Kil­macanogue and stopped traf­fic dur­ing her morn­ing-long ad­ven­ture.

Bray wa­ter was deemed un­drink­able, as bac­te­ria was found in it. Bot­tled wa­ter in su­per­mar­kets quickly sold out dur­ing the short­age.

Lux­ury En­niskerry health farm Pow­er­scourt Springs re­vealed that it would close, with the loss of al­most 70 jobs.

Padraic Mo­ran and Gary Mes­sett rep­re­sented Ire­land in boc­cia and soc­cer at the Bei­jing Par­a­lympics. Both lo­cal men put in a valiant ef­fort through­out the games.


Two new pri­mary schools in Grey­stones, Ed­u­cate To­gether and Gaelscoil na gClotha Liatha, opened their doors for the very first time.

St. Fer­gal’s parish said chee­rio to Fr. Pat Power, Sr. Cather­ine Hy­land and Fr. Joe Mur­ray, all of whom moved on to pas­tures new.

A woman was stabbed over 20 times in her chest and stom­ach at Charles­land. Her son Daryl Sweeney was later ar­rested and ques­tioned in re­la­tion to the in­ci­dent. The at­tack is still be­fore the courts.

Bray swim­ming pool was launched to tremendous sup­port from the com­mu­nity.

Star Joss Stone was spot­ted par­ty­ing in Koo.

A man was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in to the deaths of fire­men Mark O’Shaugh­nessy and Brian Mur­ray. He was re­leased and a file sent to the DPP.


Brian Mur­ray and Mark O’Shuagh­nessy were re­mem­bered in an emo­tional memo­rial ser­vice in the Holy Redeemer a year af­ter the two men died tackling a blaze in an un­used Bray ware­house.

A fond farewell was bid to Fr. John O’Con­nell, who re­tired af­ter 34 years as Parish Priest of the Holy Redeemer.

Co­caine was found to be present in al­most ev­ery pub in Bray, it emerged fol­low­ing tests car­ried out by the lo­cal branch of Sinn Fein. The party later pre­sented its find­ings to gar­daí.

Two gar­daí were in­jured in an at­tempted ram-raid of a Kil­coole petrol sta­tion. Their jeep was rammed by the crim­i­nals who made off in their own ve­hi­cle.

An­other ar­rest was made in con­nec­tion with the Bray fire tragedy. A woman in her 20s was re­leased without charge.

Bray is the coun­try’s sec­ond dirt­i­est town, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by Ir­ish Busi­nesses Against Lit­ter.

The fire sta­tion was bro­ken in to while the crew were out on an emer­gency call. A num­ber of items were taken from lock­ers, in­clud­ing the keys to two cars. The cars were stolen but later re­cov­ered. One of them was com­pletely writ­ten off.

Fire­fight­ers were not trained to use the equip­ment em­ployed the day Mark O’Shaugh­nessy and Brian Mur­ray died. A coroner later re­vealed that their deaths were caused by the in­hala­tion of hot gases.


The num­ber of peo­ple sign­ing on in Bray had in­creased by 50 per cent in the space of a year.

Joe Bol­lard, who is blind, was de­lighted that he could now read the Bray Peo­ple without as­sis­tance for the very first time, thanks to his new com­puter soft­ware JAWS.

A mas­sive hash plant grow­ing op­er­a­tion was un­cov­ered in Fas­saroe. Gar­daí said that this was the largest haul of its kind ever made in Bray.

Santa made an ap­pear­ance in Bray to turn on the Christ­mas lights, with the help of kick-box­ing star Julie McHale.


Katie Tay­lor proved her­self the world’s queen of box­ing, when she re­tained her world light­weight ti­tle at the age of 22.

There was pub­lic out­cry once again as con­tro­ver­sial ‘head shop’ Nir­vana re­lo­cated to the Main Street, de­spite con­cerns that plan­ning per­mis­sion for change of use would be re­quired.

Tears were shed for model Katy Tay­lor, a year af­ter her tragic death, in a poignant memo­rial ser­vice in her home town En­niskerry.

Dick Roche dis­played tremendous courage as he and eight other peo­ple faced masked gun­men in the Mar­riott Ho­tel. The men made off with a re­ported €18,000.

Shots were fired in to a house in Palermo just one day af­ter a man on Quinns­bor­ough Road was threat­ened at gun­point in an un­re­lated in­ci­dent.

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