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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 26 October 2021

Fatal victim of Bray shooting named as officers attempt to trace movements of killer

Boxing trainer Pete Taylor and another man were injured in the shooting and are being treated in hospital.

Updated 8.20pm

GARDAÍ ARE APPEALING for people who regularly use Bray Boxing Club to speak with them if they noticed any suspicious behaviour at the gym in recent days or weeks.

The appeal follows a shooting at the Co Wicklow gym this morning that left one man dead and two others seriously injured.

The incident at Bray Boxing Club occurred at 6.55am. A gunman walked into the gym and fired a number of shots. He was wearing dark clothing and had his face covered.

One man aged 50 was killed in the shooting. Gardaí originally stated he was aged 30, but they issued a correction this afternoon. He has been named as local man Bobby Messett.

The father of three from Kilmacanogue in north Wicklow was very highly thought of and was known in his community for his love of exercise. Gardaí believe he was a completely innocent victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gardai wish to trace the movements of the silver coloured Volkswagen Caddy van with Northern Irish registration used in the shooting. It is believed that this van travelled from Bray through Shankill and the Cornelscourt area before being abandoned on Pigeon House Road at approximately 8.05am where a male was seen leaving the van and cycling away.

Gardai appealed:

  • To anyone who witnessed the movements of this van along the route travelled between 7am and 8am this morning
  • To anyone with Dash Cam footage along this route between 7am and 8am
  • To anyone who witnessed the male cycling away from Pigeon House Road at approximately 8.05am


Messett was pronounced dead at the scene. Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Superintendent Patrick Ward said the man was attending a fitness session at the gym, as he regularly did.

They were just about to start their session when somebody came in – a gunman – he was carrying a firearm. We believe it was a handgun and he started opening fire just as they were about to start the session and three people received gunshot wounds.

Pete Taylor, father and former trainer of Irish boxing champion Katie Taylor, was injured in the incident and is in serious condition. The 57-year-old sustained injuries to his arm and chest.

Another man, aged 35, was also injured and has been taken to St Vincent’s Hospital. It is understood he suffered gunshot wounds to the leg.

“We have no known motive at the moment for the crime, we don’t yet know why the crime was carried out,” Superintendent Ward told reporters.

Source: RollingNews.ie

Following examination of CCTV in the area, gardaí are now appealing for information about a silver coloured Volkswagen Caddy with Northern Irish plates, believed to have been used by the shooter.

The van is believed to have travelled along Seapoint Road towards Bray Town Centre. There are also possibly sightings on the Dublin Road, but these have not yet been confirmed. Anyone with dashcam footage of the area from that time of the morning is asked to share it with detectives.

Gardaí believe there was just one shooter, but they are trying to establish whether there was someone else in the van with him.

Superintendent Ward said there were up to 20 people in the gym this morning when the shooting occurred and investigators are asking witnesses to speak to them about what they saw. They are also asking people who regularly use the gym and who may have noticed something suspicious recently to get in contact.

Gardaí are conducting door-to-door enquiries and are collecting CCTV footage.

Olympic, European and World champion boxer Katie Taylor previously trained at Bray Boxing Club, but no longer has any involvement with the gym. It is understood she is currently training in the United States. The club was set up by her father.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, local Sinn Féin TD John Brady, said he was “devastated” by today’s news.

He said many local people train in the gym and the victims are “good decent people”.

Brady said it was too early to speculate about a motive, but said he is thinking of the families and friends of the victims.

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“I’m absolutely shocked, anyone could have been in there. It seems like it’s totally indiscriminate.”

Local woman Elizabeth Tynnan, who works in her family’s factory next to the club, said she saw people being taken away in ambulances this morning when she arrived.

“It’s crazy, I could have been in the middle of it.”

She said Pete Taylor runs a bootcamp class at 7am and many of the local young men attend.

The woman said the club is “fantastic” and that it had done “wonders” for the town.

Source: RollingNews.ie

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan described the incident as “shocking”. He said gardaí are “actively engaged” at the scene and are appealing for people with any information to contact them.

The minister said it is important that “the appropriate level of evidence is coming out” at an early stage in this investigation.

Gardaí are at the scene and the garda helicopter is scanning the area. They are appealing for witnesses to contact Bray Garda Station on 01 6665300.

- With reporting by Christina Finn at the scene in Bray, Co Wicklow and Garreth MacNamee

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