Pete Taylor devastated by ‘senseless murder’ of friend in Bray shooting

‘Words will never explain my excruciating anguish and devastation at the horrific, senseless attack at Bray Boxing Club’

The boxing coach Pete Taylor, who was seriously injured in a shooting incident in Bray last week in which his friend, Bobby Messett was killed, has spoken for the first time since the murder.

Mr Taylor, father of world champion boxer Katie Taylor, said he was "devastated by the senseless murder" of Mr Messett and "utterly heartbroken".

“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,” he said.

Mr Messett (50) was fatally wounded just before 7am last Tuesday while working out in the club, where he regularly trained.


Gardaí are working on the presumption that Mr Taylor (57) was the intended target of the gunman and that the shooting is linked to a local dispute.

There is no suggestion that Mr Taylor, or any of those shot, have been involved in any criminal wrongdoing.

A third man, Ian Britton (35), from Greystones in Co Wicklow, was shot in the leg in the attack.

In a statement carried in a number of Sunday newspapers, Mr Taylor said he could not fathom the excruciating pain and heartache that the horrendous incident has inflicted on Mr Messett’s family.

“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.”

In a statement issued to The Irish Times on Thursday, Ms Taylor extended her heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr Messett for their tragic loss.

“I can’t imagine the despair or the sense of injustice they must be dealing with. I’m praying they know God’s comfort in the hard days ahead.”

She also said she was very thankful and relieved her father made it through the horrific attack and was recovering well.

She said she has been “somewhat estranged” from her father for a number of years, had little contact with him in the last three years, and no contact or association whatsoever with Bray Boxing Club since 2015.

Ms Taylor also said she had been “appalled by the misuse of my name and image” during the reporting of the incident in the media.

“It has been reckless and irresponsible, and a deliberate attempt to inappropriately leverage my name to sell a story,” she said.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent