Sea Life Bray to close after 25 years

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Merlin Entertainments, who own Sea Life, announced, “Sea Life Bray will be closing its doors permanently towards the end of 2023 after more than 25 years in operation.”

The popular attraction in the seaside town of Bray is home to a large variety of sea creatures, including sharks, octopuses, ray and a large variety of fish.

The shock news was confirmed yesterday by the aquarium’s UK owners, Merlin Entertainments. The company which owns a large number of aquariums, theme parks and other attractions in the UK and around the world said “After careful consideration, we have taken the difficult decision to close this attraction.”

“The priority now is to support our team members with advice on career opportunities at other attractions across the Group, and find suitable homes for the animals we currently house, utilising the rest of our Sea Life global and European network.

TD Jennifer Whitmore expressed her shock at the closure, saying “This is awful news for the town of Bray, indeed the entire county.  Sealife is a local and national institution. A place where budding marine biologists can learn about our marine life. A hugely important tourist attraction for the town. And, a place where children with disabilities can enjoy the magic of our seas. 

” I’ll be in contact with thr Council and various state agencies first thing next week to see if there is anything that can be done. This is a facility that we need to fight for. “

 It is understood that despite an improvement in visitor numbers, the owners are still unhappy with the financial performance of Sea Life forcing them to make the shock decision.

The aquarium is just one four public aquariums in the country. The other three can be found in Dingle, Achill and Galway city.

Bookings for visits are still being taken for the coming weeks and the company said anyone with an annual pass that is valid beyond December would be contacted directly.

Picture: Facebook Sea Life Bray Aquarium

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