Update: Bohemians supporters have cleaned up the Bridge in the past couple of hours.
Kevin Brannigan spotted this disgraceful 'message' on the Liam Whelan Bridge in Phibsborough today.
This is horrible. Graffiti on the Liam Whelan bridge in Phisborough. pic.twitter.com/62ZmoKTNJR
— Kevin Brannigan (@KevinBrannigans) April 14, 2014
In all probability, an Irish person has scrawled this message on the bridge, which was renamed in honour of Whelan in December 2006. As Daniel McDonnell has asked on Twitter "What kind of Irish person would do this?" No doubt, the type who travels to England every week and sings songs about 'Mancs' or 'Scousers' in an English accent, and generally talks about the fans of Liverpool or Manchester United with the kind of intimate, tribal ferocity of someone who lives in the neighbouring parish.
As Miguel Delaney has noted, Whelan's elderly brother still lives in the area.
Liam Whelan's elderly brother lives nearby to the bridge in his name. Imagine seeing this. What kind of moron does it pic.twitter.com/9PYXEwxIrt
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) April 14, 2014
The clown in question scrawled the initials of Liverpool Football Club above his message to the Whelan family, which will no doubt inspire another childish tit-for-tat between fans of the two clubs.
That Liam Whelan graffiti really shouldn't be used as ammunition for one-upmanship between fans of clubs - that's totally missing the point.
— Daniel McDonnell (@McDonnellDan) April 14, 2014
We have a slight suspicion the person who scrawled the message would not recall Whelan from his playing days.
Whelan was born in Cabra in 1935. He played underage football for Home Farm, where he was spotted by legendary Manchester United scout Billy Behan, who brought him to Old Trafford when he was 18. He broke into the first team in the early part of 1955. A skilled inside forward/ attacking midfielder with great vision, Whelan was a vital part of the famous Busby Babes side that dominated English football for a brief period. He scored 26 goals in the 1956/57 season as a very young United team romped to their second league title on the trot.
He began the following season in sensational form, ramming home a hat-trick on the opening day of the season. However, he soon had to vie with the emerging Bobby Charlton for a spot in the team. Whelan had amassed eleven league goals by the turn of the end of 1957.
On 6 February, he was killed in the Munich air disaster at the age of 22 along with seven other Manchester United players.
He played four times for Ireland in 1956 and 1957.
Here is Bobby Charlton alongside Liam Whelan's brothers and sisters at the opening of the Liam Whelan Bridge in 2006.