Friday 22 June 2018

Katie Taylor advised 'climate is not conducive' to fight in Ireland

Katie Taylor. Photo: Sportsfile
Katie Taylor. Photo: Sportsfile

Robin Schiller

ONLY last month, Katie Taylor's manager revealed that the Olympic champion would not fight in Ireland.

Her manager Brian Peters said he had consulted with authorities but the climate was not right.

He said: "Katie would love to fight in Ireland... I'd love to have a fight here."

But he said: "We've had talks with the powers that be, and they've advised us the climate is not conducive to having a fight night.

"It's very tricky, really, to get into it. We still hope to fight here. But if you want to run a show; there are the sanctioning bodies, gardaí; there are a whole load of boxes you have to tick."

It is believed that there are security reasons as well as insurance issues involved in staging a high-profile professional show in Dublin at the moment in the wake of the shooting in the Regency Hotel in 2016.

Boxing coach Pete Taylor with daughter and Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor. Mr Taylor was named as one of three men shot at Bray Boxing Club, Co Wicklow (Brian Lawless/PA)
Boxing coach Pete Taylor with daughter and Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor. Mr Taylor was named as one of three men shot at Bray Boxing Club, Co Wicklow (Brian Lawless/PA)

There is no clear motive for the indiscriminate shooting at a Bray gym early yesterday morning which claimed an innocent life.

However, it became the fourth time in recent years that a gun attack was carried out a boxing-related event.

While regular people from the locality were simply training at the Bray Boxing Gym yesterday, other shootings have been carried out at large events

Gunmen disguised as gardaí enter the Regency Hotel in 2016 where high-profile gangland figures have gathered.

The latest shooting is, at this stage, not believed to be linked to the Hutch-Kinahan dispute, but three other firearm incidents at boxing events have been directly linked to that feud.

In November 2015, an attempted hit was carried out at a boxing event in the Red Cow Hotel, where a number of senior Kinahan associates were in attendance.

A gunman, believed to be a 25-year-old associate of the Hutch gang, approached a group as they stood outside the venue and attempted to fire a number of shots.

However, the gun jammed and the would-be hitman fled the scene. It is believed that the target of that hit was cartel associate Liam Roe.

Several months later on February 5, 2016, the high-profile murder at the Regency Hotel was carried out. A number of gunmen dressed as gardaí stormed the hotel, before shooting dead David Byrne (33).

At the time of the shooting, the hotel was hosting a boxing weigh-in called `Clash of the Clans'. It was organised by the then named MGM gym, which had strong links to cartel leader Daniel Kinahan.

Gardaí believe that Kinahan - who was training a number of fighters and featured prominently at the weigh-in - was the intended target of that spectacular gun attack.

Two other associates of the Kinahan cartel suffered nonlife threatening injuries in the shooting which ignited the ongoing feud that has claimed up to 18 lives so far.

More recently, in January of this year, a shooting was carried out on the South Circular Road outside the National Boxing Stadium as an event took place outside.

Criminal Graham 'Choco' Byrne was shot as well as a UK student who was an innocent bystander.

That shooting, detectives believe, was also linked to the Hutch-Kinahan feud and gardaí are understood to have made significant progress with that investigation.

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