Belfast Telegraph

Barry McGuigan sparring partner Danny McAllister found dead in garden

By Ciaran Murphy

A former sparring partner of boxer Barry McGuigan has been found dead in mysterious circumstances.

Northern Ireland man Danny McAllister (54), who lived in Waterford in the Republic, was found in the back garden of an elderly neighbour's home on Thursday.

His family only learned of his death last night and were said to be in deep shock.

Mr McAllister was a stablemate of Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan at Barney Eastwood's gym in the early 1980s and was mentioned in McGuigan's autobiography, Cyclone.

He was also associated with the Oliver Plunkett boxing club in west Belfast, where his father Patsy is trainer. On learning of Mr McAllister's death last night, McGuigan tweeted: "How sad to hear of this tragic news. Deepest sympathies to Danny's father Patsy and his family, may he rest in peace."

And top Northern Ireland boxing coach John Breen - who knew Danny back in the 1980s - said he was "saddened" by news of the former professional fighter's death.

Gardai believe Mr McAllister may have fallen from a garden wall in a tragic accident.

Irish State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy carried out a post-mortem, but the results are not yet known.

Gardai were carrying out door-to-door inquiries in the surrounding area yesterday. A Garda presence could be seen yesterday at both Danny's home and the house where his body was found. His body was discovered by gardai at around 2.30pm on Thursday.

Officers called for an ambulance, but Mr McAllister was pronounced dead at the scene.

The area was sealed off for a technical examination, with police combing the location for clues to Mr McAllister's death.

Local people said they were shocked to hear of his death. Neighbour Xhuuljeta Proga said: "It is very quiet here all the time. He [Danny] is a nice man."

Another neighbour who knew Danny very well but did not wish to be named, said: "He used to be a boxer - he had two All-Ireland medals."

He said Danny would often joke about the time he would beat Barry McGuigan about during sparring.

The elderly man who lived at the house where Mr McAllister's body was found was said to be in shock.

He was being cared for by relatives last night.

Story so far

A former Northern Ireland boxer has been found dead near his Waterford home.

Danny McAllister (54) was associated with Barney Eastwood's gym in the 1980s, and was a former sparring partner of Clones Cyclone Barry McGuigan.

Garda detectives are investigating.

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