‘We are heartbroken’ - Boxing club pays tribute to Bobby Messett

‘Bobby offended no one’ says life-long friend after Bray shooting

 

The boxing club where father-of-three Bobby Messett was shot dead on Tuesday has said its members are “heartbroken” following his murder.

In a statement, Taylor Made Boxing Gym in Bray said Mr Messett (50) was “our most dedicated and determined club member of eight years”.

Mr Messett was shot in the head while working out in the gym, which a gunman targeted at about 6.55am on Tuesday. He was taking part in a bootcamp style class at the gym when the shooting occurred.

Pete Taylor (57), father of former Olympic boxer Katie Taylor, who runs the gym was wounded alongside Ian Britton (35). None of the men has any connection to crime.

Gardaí at the scene of the triple shooting in Bray on Tuesday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
Gardaí at the scene of the triple shooting in Bray on Tuesday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
The remains of Bobby Messett as they were taken from the scene of the triple shooting at Bray Boxing Club on Tuesday morning. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins.
The remains of Bobby Messett as they were taken from the scene of the triple shooting at Bray Boxing Club on Tuesday morning. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins.

In a statement on Facebook, Taylor Made Boxing Gym said: “To our dear friend Bobby... It has been an absolute pleasure for every single one of us to have been gifted with so many hours of your time in the club pushing, pulling, boxing, running, sweating, smiling and laughing.

“We are heartbroken and will miss you dearly... in the front row with Dave, ringside with Andy, increasing those chins every single week, being the first up for any challenge, that poor bruised nose every single time you sparred, morning chats about your race progress, continuously striving to get fitter, faster and stronger every single session.

“Thank you for being all of our friends, we adore you, and all have our own treasured memories of moments with you, take care x.”

The funeral of Mr Messett is due to take place at 11.30am on Friday at St Mochonog’s Church, Kilmacanogue, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. 

“Family flowers only please, donations in lieu, if desired, to the NMH Foundation,” a notice on RIP.ie states.

Mr Messett was a self-employed painter and decorator who lived in Bray. He was married with three children and three grand-children. He was a member of a number of sports clubs in the north Wicklow area, including Bray Wheelers Cycling Club and Glencormac United Football Club.

Colm Mulligan, a life-long friend of Mr Messett and senior manager at Glencormac Utd said “he was just one of the nicest, most easy going chaps you could ever meet”.

“I’ve known Bobby 45 years, he was only born down the road from me in Glencormac,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Wednesday.

He said Mr Messett was “a great all-round sportsman” who did a lot of fundraising through sport.

“Bobby offended no one... It’s just so unfortunate, heartbreaking,” he added.

In a statement posted on Glencormac United’s Facebook page, Mr Mulligan said “Bobby was an innocent victim...simply in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

Wicklow councillor Christopher Fox, a friend of Mr Messett’s said he was “a good fella who loved his sport and loved keeping fit”.

Gardaí on Pigeon House Road, Dublin where the VW Caddy van was found. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
Gardaí on Pigeon House Road, Dublin where the VW Caddy van was found. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Fergal Carruth, CEO of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association said it is “completely horrified that something like this could happen in the setting of a community sports club”. He said there’s a huge amount of speculation about what happened on Tuesday morning but it has “absolutely nothing to do with boxing”.

Gardaí believe boxing trainer Pete Taylor was the target of the gunman who appears to have driven himself to and from the scene at Bray harbour on Tuesday morning. Detectives are hopeful the getaway van, a silver Volkswagen Caddy which was later dumped in Ringsend, will yield DNA and other forensic evidence linking the killer to the crime.

Mr Taylor’s evidence is likely to prove crucial in identifying anyone who may have wanted to attack him. It was initially feared the shooting was the latest gun attack in the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

However, gardaí are now looking into a more localised dispute as the likely motive. Detectives believe Mr Taylor was recently drawn into a dispute with drug dealers from west Dublin who decided to shoot him over a personal grudge.

There is no suggestion that Mr Taylor has been involved in any criminal wrongdoing.