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Monday 20 May 2019

Gardaí to officially warn Pete Taylor there is an active threat to his life

  • Probe into Bray gym murder focuses on van discovery and CCTV
  • 'We’re glad he’s going to be okay, and we all love him' - Katie's mother
Pete Taylor pictured in Bray Boxing club. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Pete Taylor pictured in Bray Boxing club. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

GARDAI are expected to officially warn boxing coach Pete Taylor there is an active threat against his life and offer him personal security advice as their investigation into the Bray gym attack continues.

Officers interviewed Mr Taylor, the father of Olympic boxing champion Katie Taylor, while he was being treated in St Vincent's Hospital on Tuesday night, but he was "groggy" due to the effects of medication. They expect to speak to him in far more detail in the coming days.

Pete Taylor (left) was injured in the attack, while innocent grandfather Bobby Messett (50) was killed in the shooting
Pete Taylor (left) was injured in the attack, while innocent grandfather Bobby Messett (50) was killed in the shooting

Detectives in Bray, supported by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), are probing if a hitman from Dublin's north-inner city was involved in the shooting.

Gardaí believe a dangerous Bray-based drugs gang is at the centre of the gun attack in which innocent fitness fanatic Bobby Messett (50) was murdered.

VIDEO: Tributes paid to Bray Boxing Club shooting victim Bobby Messett 

Officers are investigating a number of theories, including claims that the gun attack was only intended as an act of intimidation.

Officers yesterday continued to search for the handgun used in the attack, in which Mr Taylor (57) suffered a non-life-threatening injury when a bullet entered his chest after it exited his arm.

He continued to receive treatment in hospital.

Katie's mother Bridget spoke to last night.

“We’re glad he’s going to be okay, and we all love him,” she said.

Bridget said their hearts go out to the family of Bobby Messett.

“I can’t imagine what they are going through. We are finding it hard enough here today but it is so much worse for his family, our hearts go out to them,” she said.

She could think of no reason why the club or anyone in it would be targeted. “I have no idea. We’re all shocked,” she said.

Bridget also said she had no idea why the gym would be targeted.

“We don’t know anything yet. The children are with Pete in hospital. We are all very distressed,” she said.

Mr Messett joined Bray Boxing Club, also known as Taylor Made Boxing Gym, in 2010 and they said today he will be sorely missed by those who knew him.

A manhunt continued for the gunman who murdered Mr Messett when he shot him in the head and also wounded Ian Britton (35), who was shot three times in the leg.

"A number of different scenarios are being looked at," a source said.

"The geography alone of where the van was abandoned indicates the suspected gunman may be from the north-inner city because of analysis of previous crimes."

It is understood Gardaí have not yet formally identified a suspect from that area, but are continuing inquiries into a number of known criminals who have been linked to firearms crimes in the past.

After the gun attack at Bray Boxing Club shortly before 7am on Tuesday, the lone gunman escaped in a silver Volkswagen Caddy with Northern Irish registration plates.

It was later found intact by Gardaí in the Pigeon House Road area of Ringsend at around 2pm yesterday after it had travelled through Shankill and Cornelscourt.

A man was seen cycling away from the getaway van shortly after 8am and was caught on numerous CCTV cameras.

The van was still being forensically examined yesterday.

Detectives will take a detailed statement from Mr Taylor in the coming days and are also expected to give him a formal warning about an active threat to his life. His girlfriend Karen Brown maintained a vigil at his bedside yesterday.

aren Brown 003 copy (Read-Only).jpg
Pete Taylor’s girlfriend Karen Brown, pictured arriving at hospital to visit him in June 2018

He is expected to be issued with a Garda Information Message, or GIM, and given detailed security advice about his movements.

There is no suggestion that Mr Taylor or the other men shot in the gym have any involvement in crime.

"The reality is that Mr Taylor is very lucky to be alive and more people could also easily have been hit in this truly reckless attack - there were over 15 people in the gym," a source said last night.

"This is a very fluid and complicated investigation that has many strands to it and a number of theories are being explored and have not yet been discounted," he said

Irish Independent

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