Thursday 18 July 2019

Over €30,000 raised on the first anniversary of Bobby's death

Six of Bobby Messett’s friends and family on their journey to Spain to walk the Camino
Six of Bobby Messett’s friends and family on their journey to Spain to walk the Camino

Mary Fogarty

Members of Bobby Messett's family have raised €30,500 for Holles Street Hospital's ICU, a year since his tragic death at the hands of a gunman.

Bobby died on June 5, 2018, when he was shot by a gunman who opened fire at Bray Boxing Club.

His partner Natalie, ex-wife Jackie, daughter Demi-leigh, sister Paula, niece Hayley and friend Laurna were all together on the day of his anniversary, as they neared the end of their 114km Camino challenge.

In Bobby's name, they decided to raise money for life-saving equipment for newborn babies.

He had planned to do so as his granddaughter Poppie had received therapeutic cooling following complications at birth. He was inspired to help other families.

The 'Bobby Messett's Mission' fundraising campaign was founded, and has now exceeded its €20,000 target for an EEG. The surplus funds will be used to purchase other items for the ICU.

'It was lovely over in Spain,' said Jackie, despite the fact that it rained every day except the first. 'We brought over stones with Bobby' name on them and laid them in little areas on the anniversary,' she said. They completed their trek the following day.

When they came back from Spain, the whole family met, including his sons Gary and Bobby junior, and went to the top of Bray Head where they released balloons. Fr Dan Nguyen, who had officiated at the funeral, joined them and, saying that this was Bobby's 'first birthday in heaven', encouraged them to sing 'Happy Birthday'. Many of Bobby's friends were also there to mark a year since his passing. 'It has been a very hard year,' said Jackie. 'But there have been so many positives. Doing the fund-raiser helped give everyone something else to focus on.

'My daughter Demi-Leigh, while she's had the most horrific year of her life, has done the Camino, done Hell & Back, and did amazing in her exams.' She and her brother Gary, and members of KOR fitness did the challenge on Saturday to add to the fund. Other organisations to have held events or made donations include Glencormac United, Ladies Workout Express, Tesco in Arklow, Coffee Delights, Pluck's, and others, as well as numerous individuals. She also said that everyone in the community, both in Bray and Kilmacanogue, have done so much to help the family, and support the fundraising. 'Even people you barely know,' she said. 'It shows what Bobby meant to so many people and the impact he made on the lives of others,' she said. The group of six who did the Camino this year plan to return next year and remember Bobby in the same way on the occasion of his second anniversary. 'It was very peaceful out there,' said Jackie, who said they also did the roughly 30km 'Bray Camino' to St James' church prior to leaving for Spain.

31-year-old Dublin man Gerard Cervi has been charged with the murder of Bobby Messett, and the attempted murder of two others, including boxing coach Pete Taylor.

Bray People