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Saturday 19 October 2019

Man (30s) arrested in connection to fatal shooting at Bray Boxing Club

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
A silver Volkswagen van, believed to have been used in the attack at Bray Boxing Club, has been found on the Pigeon House Road in Dublin
Well-known trainer Pete Taylor (inset) and the scene of the shooting at Bray Boxing Club
Scene of shooting at Bray Boxing Club (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of shooting at Bray Boxing Club (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of shooting at Bray Boxing Club (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Gardaí pictured on the pier following a shooting in Bray Boxing Club (Photo: Mark Condren)
Gardaí pictured on the pier following a shooting in Bray Boxing Club (Photo: Mark Condren)
Gardaí pictured on the pier following a shooting in Bray Boxing Club (Photo: Mark Condren)
The re-vamped Bray Boxing Club which was officially opened in January 2014. Pic Steve Humphreys
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A man has been arrested in connection to the fatal shooting of Bobby Messett at the Bray Boxing Club last June.

The man (30s) was arrested late last night and conveyed to Bray Garda Station, where he is currently detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007.

Gardai said that investigations are ongoing.

Innocent grandfather Bobby Messett (50), died when a gunman entered Bray Boxing Club in The Harbour, Bray, Co Wicklow, on June 5 and fired a number of shots.

Pete Taylor, father of Olympian Katie and owner of the club, and another man were hospitalised after the attack.

Mr Messett joined Bray Boxing Club back in 2010 and described the gym as “a big family” and said his favourite part of training was “sparring with Pete [Taylor]”.

Following his death, tributes poured in on social media to Mr Messett, who was "simply in the wrong place at the wrong time" when he was killed in the attack.

One friend wrote on the Glencormac United Facebook page: "Sadly, you will all have heard by now of the tragic news of the loss of our beloved Bobby "Dazzler" Messett.

"Bobby was an innocent victim in the shooting this morning at Bray Boxing Club and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Words cannot convey how heartbroken every one of us is at The Glens to lose one the most dedicated club men anyone could have."

The friend said everyone's "prayers and hearts go out to" Mr Messett's loved ones at this time and he urged others to share photos and fond memories of him.

"Bobby mate, we were so proud to have you as a friend these past 50 years, Rest in Peace," he added.

Attack

Mr Messett is believed to have been shot in the head while Mr Taylor was shot in the arm, with the bullet deflecting into his chest. The other man was hit a number of times in the leg.

Superintendent Pat Ward from Bray garda station previously said there were up to 20 people in the gym at the time of the shooting, and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

"There was about 15 or 20 people in the gym, and they were just about to start their session when a gunman came in carrying what we believe was a handgun and he started opening fire.

“Three people received gunshot wounds. Unfortunately a 50 year old man died at the scene and two others were injured. They were brought to hospital and are receiving treatment,” he added.

Investigation

The boxing club is where Ireland's Olympic, European and World champion Katie Taylor previously trained. It is understood she is now training in the US as she continues her professional career. The club was set up by her father and was also home to former Irish champion Adam Nolan.

The €300,000 state-of-the-art facility was officially opened in February 2014.

Speaking to Independent.ie following the shooting Pete Taylor said that he was not the intended target of the shooting but that he was only shot because he ran at the gunman.

"People are afraid and I understand that," he says. "You’re like a bad disease to everybody. But they’re afraid because of what they’re reading and the slant being put on it. And what nobody’s saying is I only got shot because I ran at the gunman. The guards will tell you that.

"I was plugging in my phone for the music to start the training session. Everybody was at their stations. And that’s when I heard bang, bang, bang... I had my back to everything and my first thought was it’s one of my air compressors backfiring. That was the kind of noise it was making.

"I actually turned around half in irritation to tell one of the lads to turn off the air compressor. And that’s when I saw the gunman at the door, just shooting randomly. In that first split-second, I thought it was a joke then, suddenly, I saw the fear on everybody’s faces.

"Two girls near me had dived onto the floor. Everybody was running for cover anywhere they could, into the bathrooms, hiding behind machines. I was probably in the safest place in the club because I was behind a big, steel cable machine. But I just ran across the gym at him and he shot at me twice. One missed me, but the second one hit and I ended up on my back."

Mr Taylor said that he was baffled by the shooting.

"I’m completely confused by it. I’ve never been involved in criminal activity. The guards have said it. They’ve got my phone going back to 2009, they’ve got my laptop, they’ve searched the club, gone through the GPS in my car.

"Like if I thought there was the tiniest danger to anyone in the club, do you think I’d have been turning up at quarter to seven every morning? Heading down there in complete darkness in the winter? Leaving the door open during training? No cameras in the building?

"I had the exact same routine every day. If anybody was watching me, I was an open book."

Gardai said that investigations are ongoing.

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