Wednesday 22 May 2019

Boxing club building secure as council examines interior

Bray boxing club on the morning of the shooting.
Bray boxing club on the morning of the shooting.

Mary Fogarty

Wicklow County Council has secured the Bray Boxing Club building following the tragic events of last week, it has confirmed in a statement.

A gunman entered the club shortly before 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 5, and opened fire, killing Bobby Messett (50) and injuring Pete Taylor (57) and Ian Britton (35).

The council said that as owner of the premises, it has a responsibility to ensure the building is restored to a condition fit for community use.

Arrangements are being made to carry out an examination of the facility with a view to undertaking any necessary repairs.

The council is also liaising with Bray Boxing Club representatives, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Pete Taylor and his daughter Katie Taylor are among those to have sent their condolences to the Messett family, in statements released separately.

Katie Taylor, confirming that she and her father are estranged, issued her statement through the Irish Times last week.

She distanced herself from Bray Boxing Club, with which she has had no involvement in the past three years. Katie, who is training in America, said that the Messett family 'didn't deserve this heartache'.

Katie criticised the press for associating her with a local shooting involving her father, who was previously her coach, as well as her former club. She appealed for privacy for her mother and other family members.

In a statement to the Sunday Independent, Pete Taylor said that he is 'utterly heartbroken'.

'I cannot believe what has happened,' he said. 'Words will never explain my excruciating anguish and devastation at the horrific, senseless attack at Bray Boxing Club.

'Bobby was my close friend, training partner and sparring mate. I am utterly heartbroken that he is gone. I cannot fathom the excruciating pain and heartache that this horrendous incident has inflicted on Bobby's family. I cannot imagine their loss. To Bobby's family and the members of Bray Boxing Club who are my extended family, I express more sorrow than you may ever know or can believe.'

Pete Taylor and Ian Britton remain in hospital where, Gardaí say, they are recovering from their injuries.

Gardaí have had numerous conversations with those present at Bray Boxing Club on the morning of the shooting.

Gardaí in Bray said that they are examining 'all and any' possibilities with regard to the motive behind shooting. Those include possible local links, or the potential involvement of a Dublin gang. When asked who the intended target was or, indeed, if an intended target may not have been present at the club that morning, Garda Declan Lynch of Bray Garda Station said that, at this point, they weren't ruling anything in or out.'We are keeping a completely open perspective,' he said.

The search for the gunman is particularly wide-ranging, stretching from Bray to Poolbeg and including all points in between. 'There is a great deal of background work being done by a large team of investigators, who are sifting through a very large amount of CCTV,' said Garda Lynch. He said that a search which was carried out of the boxing club and surrounding area would not be something he would be discussing.

Meanwhile, gardai are appealing to the public for information about where the gunman went after he left getaway car at Pigeon House Road in Ringsend, and where they ended up. 'It is a murder investigation, and a particularly heinous crime,' said Garda Lynch. 'All resources are being put into obtaining results.'

Wicklow People