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Continuity IRA claims responsibility for Dublin boxing weigh-in shooting at Regency Hotel

Published 08/02/2016

Gunmen disguised as Gardai walk calmly into a Dublin hotel, then kill a man at boxing event in a hail of bullets [File photo]
Gunmen disguised as Gardai walk calmly into a Dublin hotel, then kill a man at boxing event in a hail of bullets [File photo]
A Garda cordon outside the Regency Hotel in Dublin after one man died and two others were injured following a shooting incident at the hotel
One of the victims is carried to an ambulance
Hooded gunmen in Garda-style uniform carried out a murderous raid
Forensic officers outside the Regency Hotel where hooded gunmen in Garda-style uniform carried out a murderous raid

The Continuity IRA has claimed responsibility for a gun attack at a Dublin hotel during a weigh-in for a boxing match which killed one and left others injured.

A gang of armed men wearing "police-style" uniforms and carrying AK47s stormed the Regency Hotel in Dublin and opened fire on Friday.

One of the attackers was dressed in drag while another dressed casually in a tracksuit and flat cap.

A total of six men carried out the attack.

About 300 people were in the hotel when the gang struck, including families with children, boxing fans and a small number of members of the media.

They were attending a weigh-in for a title fight billed Clash of the Clans between Jamie Kavanagh and Antonio Jao Bento which was subsequently cancelled.

David Byrne, 34, from Crumlin in Dublin was shot dead and several others injured.

Gardai said the shooting was part of a gangland feud.

However, on Monday the BBC said the Continuity IRA claimed responsibility.

The terrorist faction has been involved in extorting vast sums of money from major drug dealers in the Republic.

The organisation said it had targeted David Byrne, who had criminal links, and was part of its crackdown on drugs in Dublin and was planning more attacks.

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Gardai keeping open mind after Continuity IRA claims boxing weigh-in killing  

A spokesman for the organisation told the broadcaster Mr Byrne was targeted over the killing of Alan Ryan in the city four years ago.

The 32-year-old was a leading member of the Real IRA.

"Although not a member of our organisation, we are not going to stand back and allow drug dealers and criminals to target republicans," the CIRA spokesman told the BBC.

"This will not be an isolated incident," he said.

"Continuity IRA units have been authorised to carry out further operations. More drug dealers and criminals will be targeted.

"The Continuity IRA will carry out further military operations."

Amateur video footage of the weigh-in was posted online showing the horror unfold.

Byrne's body was seen by a number of people slumped against the reception desk "riddled" with bullets while witnesses described seeing two other gunmen carrying handguns, one dressed as a woman with an auburn wig and the other wearing a beige flat cap and tracksuit.

 

Photographs of the gang have been published but gardai requested that media pixelate the faces of two of those not in the Swat style uniforms.

 

Units of the Garda's armed Emergency Response Unit were sent on patrol in certain parts of Dublin over the weekend with a number of high profile checkpoints set up in the wake of the murder.

There have been no arrests in relation to the gun attack but a number of properties in Dublin have been raided by gardai investigating the murder.

It is believed that some of the six-man gang responsible fled the country within hours of the shooting but most of the suspects are still in Ireland.

Gardai have set up armed checkpoints around the city in a bid to catch those responsible.

On Monday the Irish Independent reported that a "war summit" was held in Dublin by the criminal gang to which David Byrne was a member as to what their course of action should be in response.

It is understood that the cartel wants “rapid retaliation” against those responsible, however, the increased security around the city by gardai has thwarted their movements.

Box Nation had been scheduled to broadcast the fight from the National Stadium in Dublin on the Saturday night.

 

The bout was being promoted by Frank Warren and MGM Promotions based in Marbella.

 

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald came under pressure in the wake of the attack with questions over why some media had staked out the hotel but garda detectives had not.

 

"The answer the Garda Commissioner has given ... there was no operational intelligence in relation to this event," he said.

 

Ms Fitzgerald said she had received regular briefings on the incident and investigation from Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan but insisted that a lack of police presence for the boxing weigh-in was not an issue of resources.

 

"She said that is not the reason. There was not operational intelligence in relation to this particular event, that's the reason," she said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny called on Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams to make a statement on reports that the assault rifles used in the attack may have been from " the same cargo that came in from abroad with the Provisional IRA a number of years ago".

 

Mr Adams said: " I understand a group calling itself the Continuity IRA has claimed responsibility for the attack at the Regency Hotel.

 

"They are not the IRA. The IRA are gone and their weapons are gone.

 

"Enda Kenny knows that.

 

"Incidentally, the same group has me and other Sinn Fein reps under active death threat. This was confirmed to me by the PSNI in recent months."

 

Mr Adams described the attack as an "outrage and horrendous".

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