Funeral of Bobby Messett, who was shot dead in Bray, told he died too soon

His son told mourners his father packed more into 50 years than a man who would live to be 100

The remains of Bobby Messett, who was shot dead in Bray Boxing Club on Tuesday are carried to the cemetery after his funeral mass in Kilmacanogue. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

The remains of Bobby Messett, who was shot dead in Bray Boxing Club on Tuesday are carried to the cemetery after his funeral mass in Kilmacanogue. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

The son a man shot dead at Bray Boxing Club earlier this week has told his funeral mass he packed more into his 50 years than a man who would live to be 100.

Gary Messett, son of Bobby Messett (50), said he was passionate about everything he did.

“Although we are all devastated that he was taken so cruelly, and way too soon, it gives us some comfort to know he is reunited with his Ma and Da,” he said.

“Sport played a huge part in his life. It’s where he made most of his closest friends,” he added.

“My Da never sat still for a minute. He loved to keep busy and he did just that. He’s left a huge void in our lives that will never be filled again.”

A woman holds the mass booklet at the funeral of Bobby Messett. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
A woman holds the mass booklet at the funeral of Bobby Messett. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Mr Messett was fatally wounded just before 7am on Tuesday while working out in Bray Boxing Club. A bystander with no involvement in crime, he regularly trained and boxed at the club.

Two others were injured in the shooting including boxing coach Pete Taylor (57), the father of 2012 Olympic boxing champion Katie, and Ian Britton (35), from Greystones in Co Wicklow.

At Mr Messett’s funeral at St Mochanog’s Church, Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow on Friday guards of honour from Glencormac United, Bray Wheelers, and Pluck’s Golf Society lined the route as his family carried his coffin towards the church, and again as they took him to the adjoining cemetery.

The song Tell Me Again by the Coronas played as mourners arrived at the small church, lyrics including ‘tell me again, how much you make my year. My beautiful friend, you’ve nothing to fear.’

Fr Dan Nguyen welcomed the dead man’s children Gary, Bobby Jnr, Demi-Leigh and their mother Jackie, his partner Natalie and her son Alex, and all of his family members, to what he said was a celebration of Bobby’s life.

He told the congregation Bobby was a kind man. He struck up a friendship with the priest following the death of Bobby’s mother Dolores in February. During those snowy times, he ensured that Fr Nguyen had enough logs for his fire. “Now I’m full of logs for the next winter as well!”.

“The news of last Tuesday morning brought devastating shock to Bobby’s family, friends and local community. The whole nation of Ireland has learned about the tragic death of an innocent man,” he said.

“Whatever we say right now I think is inadequate to express our sadness, our sorrow for his family,” he added.

The celebrant said the dead man was well known for his love of family, love of life, and passion for many sports including cycling and boxing, as well as his love of nature - pigeons and many other things.

“He was kind, warm, friendly, gentle, and hard-working. He was highly respected and very well thought of.

“Bobby’s life has been cut short. Life is so precious, a gift from god. He died before his time. He has died too tragically and suddenly, too soon. But his tragedy has allowed us to see the remarkable impact which Bobby has made on those in his life. He inspired many young people and touched many lives.”

Fr Nguyen invited members of the congregation to briefly sum Bobby up. “Legend” came a voice from the body of the church, as well as “amazing person”, followed by “perfect in every way”.

Former Ireland International, Damien Duff (on left of picture) at the funeral of Bobby Messett, who was shot dead in Bray Boxing Club last Tuesday. His cortege was flanked by members of Bray Wheelers Cycling Club. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
Former Ireland International, Damien Duff (on left of picture) at the funeral of Bobby Messett, who was shot dead in Bray Boxing Club last Tuesday. His cortege was flanked by members of Bray Wheelers Cycling Club. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Symbols were brought to the altar representing his life. A number 5 Glencormac United jersey; a photograph of his children, one of his three granddaughters, boxing gloves, a Liverpool crest, golf clubs, his cycling helmet, and finally, a bottle of rum “to send him on his way”.

As Mass drew to a close, the priest invited mourners to join in a round of applause in honour of Bobby Messett.

The remains of Bobby Messett, who was shot dead in Bray Boxing Club on Tuesday are carried to the cemetery after his funeral mass in Kilmacanogue on Friday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins
The remains of Bobby Messett, who was shot dead in Bray Boxing Club on Tuesday are carried to the cemetery after his funeral mass in Kilmacanogue on Friday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins

Emily Carroll sang You’ll never Walk Alone as the lifelong Liverpool fan was escorted to the cemetery.