Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has laid a wreath to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United soccer player, Liam Whelan.

The 22-year-old was among 23 people, including seven other Manchester United players, who died in the Munich air crash 50 years ago next week.

At a ceremony on the Liam Whelan Memorial Bridge in Cabra this afternoon, wreaths were laid by Mr Ahern, Mr Whelan's family, members of the Man United Supporters Club and local representatives.

A memorial mass was celebrated by auxiliary bishop of Dublin, Dr Eamon Walsh and a football match was later held to honour the local hero.

Inside right player Liam Whelan had four caps for Ireland when he died.

He made his debut for Manchester United aged 19 and had 96 appearances for the team, scoring 52 goals.

He helped Manchester United win consecutive league titles.

An Post will also commemorate the anniversary by launching a specially designed stamp featuring Mr Whelan's image and that of the Munich Memorial Clock at Old Trafford.