Boxing coach Pete Taylor fails to secure injunction over Bray premises

Coach claims council wrongfully trying to evict him from Wicklow club, court hears

Boxing coach Pete Taylor has failed to get an injunction preventing Wicklow County Council terminating a legal interest allegedly held by him and Bray Boxing Club Ltd concerning the club premises.

The injunction was sought pending the outcome of a full action but, in a judgment on Tuesday, the High Court's Mr Justice Senan Allen ruled the company and Mr Taylor were not entitled to the order against the council.

Mr Taylor, the father of Olympic and World Champion boxer Katie Taylor, claimed the council is wrongfully trying to evict him and the club from a facility, owned by the local authority, at the Harbour Shed, Bray.

Mr Tayor and Bray Boxing Club Ltd sought an injunction restraining the council terminating the plaintiffs’ legal interest in their possession of the premises in the absence of a properly obtained court order.


The company, incorporated in 2015, is Bray Boxing club’s successor in title and Mr Taylor is the company’s sole director.

It was claimed Mr Taylor and the then local boxing club entered into an agreement to lease the club premises in 2007.

After the lease expired in 2015, he and the club remained on under a number of licence agreements.

The council opposed the injunction and argued the plaintiffs have no proprietary entitlement to the premises and their case was unstateable.

In his decision, Mr Justice Allen said it was not entirely clear precisely what the plaintiffs were seeking in their injunction application after they opted to limit the number of reliefs originally sought.

Broadly speaking, the plaintiffs claim to be entitled to a legal estate or interest in the Harbour Shed premises, he said.

What precisely or even generally that interest is was “rather elusive”, he said.

He noted the council disputes the plaintiffs’ claims they are entitled to an interest in the premises and to a new lease, periodic tenancy or a licence.

The judge “could not reconcile” the claim the plaintiffs and its predecessor were the only occupiers of the premises since 2005 with the fact of their been locked out of the facility following a shooting there in 2018.

He was satisfied, even if there was a valid lease agreement for the premises, it had expired in 2015.

Noting the council’s position and its decision to serve an eviction notice last November, he said he did not know of any conceivable basis on which the local authority might be restrained by the court from doing something it was lawfully entitled to do.

There was no evidence before the court either the company or Mr Taylor would suffer any catastrophic financial or reputation loss if the injunction was not granted, he added.

While, in the proceedings, the company claimed to be the successor in title to Bray Boxing Club, there was no evidence before the court of any purported transfer of anything from the club to the company, nor any involvement of the members or trustees of the club in this litigation, he said.

The action was brought by the company “on its own behalf for its own benefit.”

While he could see “no reason” why the plaintiffs should not pay the legal costs of the application, given they had abandoned most of their application “at the very last minute”, he was inclined to put a stay on any costs order pending the outcome of the determination of the full dispute.

The judge has adjourned the matter to allow the parties to consider his decision.

Previously, the court heard the council changed the locks on the premises in June 2018 after three people, including Mr Taylor, were shot at the gym.

Bobby Messert was killed in that incident.

Mr Taylor, an innocent victim of the attack, as well as the member of the club, have been out of the facility since then.

Shortly after the shooting the council changed the locks and informed the club it was taking possession of the premises so it could be cleaned, fixed and restored for use as a sports facility.

Mr Taylor claims the council used that violent incident as a “smokescreen” to unlawfully evict him and the club from the premises. He says that, in November 2020, the council posted an eviction notice outside the premises giving the plaintiffs 10 days to vacate.

The council denies any wrongdoing. It accepts it changed the locks, but says neither Mr Taylor nor Bray Boxing Club Ltd have any proprietary interest in the club premises.