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'A once in a lifetime opportunity' - Bray Wanderers and Cabinteely agree merger

The merged club will apply to compete in the SSE Airtricity League First Division next season.

Home matches will be played at the Carlisle Grounds.
Home matches will be played at the Carlisle Grounds.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

A MERGER BETWEEN Bray Wanderers and Cabinteely has been agreed.

The SSE Airtricity League First Division sides will amalgamate at all levels after the acquisition of a majority shareholding in Bray Wanderers FC Limited.

The club will apply to compete in the League of Ireland’s second tier in 2022, playing home matches at the Seagulls’ Carlisle Grounds.

The deal was agreed following lengthy discussions between both clubs. Cabinteely’s chairman Tony Richardson will become club chairman, while chairman of Bray Wanderers, Niall O’Driscoll, steps down.

Cabinteely director of football Pat Devlin — who has strong links with both Bray and Cabinteely — will maintain that role at the merged club.

A new name has not been confirmed, and it is believed a consultation process will be held with stakeholders to decide on one. 

pat-devlin Pat Devlin will be the club's director of football. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our two renowned clubs to establish a great good for football on a local, regional and national level,” said Richardson. “It is also very much in line with FAI encouragement for clubs to seek ways of co-operating more closely together.

“Both clubs have really brilliant people involved, and with an exceptionally proud heritage, where Bray Wanderers was established in 1922 and Cabinteely FC in 1967.

Both clubs have performed with distinction across all leagues throughout the years. Both are pillars within their communities, and both have fantastic supporters, members and players who have an enormous love of football. It is this love of football that will continue to inspire us all to drive the future success of this endeavour.

“Now, with the coming together of both clubs, we will see a further strengthening of football for the generations to come and a commitment towards the continuing advancement of our combined club, and many partner clubs, for the football communities who we will continue to serve in the months, years, and decades ahead.”

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O’Driscoll added: “The coming together of Bray Wanderers and Cabinteely Senior FC is impressive in its vision and a logical step that will create a dynamic new influence in Irish football.

“I’m very proud to have helped to stabilise and strengthen the position and status of Bray Wanderers, which is now on a firm footing and has performed very strongly in the 2021 league, enabling this excellent new development to take place.”

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