This article is from the July 2004 edition of Socialist Voice

Derry Socialist Youth say...

'Save our Brandywell'

FOLLOWING THE end of the 2003 season Derry City FC were forced to close one side of Brandywell stadium, the Lone Moor Road side of the ground, known as the jungle. As a result the capacity of the Brandywell has been reduced from 8000 to 2400.

By Paul Keenan, Derry Socialist Youth

The closure of this part of the Brandywell was due mainly to two factors: the introduction of the UEFA licensing, and health and safety issues such as the asbestos in the roof, uneven terracing and the danger posed by the condition of the perimeter wall.

Derry City fans accept that the closure had to happen but what is unacceptable is the fact that no re-development has taken place six months on.This lack of re-development is due to red-tape, as Derry do not hold a long term lease for the Brandywell from the council, and that Derry do not qualify for funding from various sources. The council can't afford to pay for redevelopment on its small budget.

The council at this point seem unwilling to grant Derry a long-term lease or start redevelopment. Dspite this the council has the arrogance to put a banner in the Brandywell claiming to be "investing in local sport".

As a result the Save Our Brandywell (SOB) was set up to show the council that the people of Derry find their failure to grant Derry a long-term lease unacceptable.

They also fail to realise that Derry has lost potential revenue as a result of the closure and that sooner or later this will financially hit the club. As this rumbles on we hope that the readers of this article will support our campaign and SOB and show the council that their failure to redevelop Brandywell is not only an embarrassment to themselves, DCFC and their fans but also the Derry people.

Socialist Youth members in Derry received an excellent response from Derry City FC fans after selling a special bulletin of Derry Young Socialist at the Brandywell. Copies of the bulletin were snatched out of our hands and a lot of people congratulated us on producing the bulletin.

As well as dealing with the Save our Brandywell campaign the bulletin carried articles on the occupation of Iraq, Low pay and Unemployment in Derry, the Fascists Out Campaign and Raytheon (the armaments factory in Derry) and was written by members of Socialist Youth in Derry.

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