Belfast Telegraph

Olympic champion Katie Taylor’s father injured in boxing club shooting

Pete Taylor, 57, sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries at Bray Boxing Club, south of Dublin.

The father of Olympic boxing gold medallist Katie Taylor has sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries in a shooting near Dublin, police said.

Pete Taylor, 57, was at Bray Boxing Club in Co Wicklow, about to start a session with up to 20 people shortly before 7am on Tuesday, when the attack happened.

A 50-year-old man was killed and another man, aged 35, was injured, Irish police said, in an attack which came “out of the blue”.

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Boxing coach Pete Taylor was injured in the shooting at the club he founded in Bray, Co Wicklow (Niall Carson/PA)

The club was where Taylor – Ireland’s Olympic, European and World champion – began her career. She went on to win gold at London 2012.

The gym was established by Mr Taylor.

A gunman wearing a balaclava or helmet and armed with what police believe was a handgun entered the gym. One man died at the scene, Garda Superintendent Pat Ward said, and two others were hospitalised.

He said: “We are not giving out full details of the injuries received – what we can say is they are not life threatening.

“They are very, very serious but they are not life threatening at the moment as we understand it.”

The assailant may have been wearing a high visibility yellow jacket.

Mr Ward said detectives were still working to establish a motive, saying gardai were not sure whether the attack was targeted or indiscriminate. They were not aware of any pre-existing threats to any gym member.

Mr Ward said the dead man was attending a regular fitness session.

“This man was just using the gym like anyone else before he was unfortunately killed,” he said.

He added: “It was a normal session on a normal day and it was being undertaken by people who normally undertake that session in the early hours of the morning.

“This came totally out of the blue – it was a normal day for all of those people in the gym.”

He said it was unclear whether the gunman had an accomplice.

“We know one person entered the gym and came out and made their getaway in that silver VW Caddy with a Northern Ireland registered number.

“We don’t know if there was anyone else in that van with him. That’s something that we are trying to find out.”

Police believe the getaway vehicle drove towards Bray town centre and there have been several unconfirmed sightings.

The chairman of Bray Municipal Council, Chris Fox, confirmed that Mr Taylor was one of those shot.

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Garda activity at Bray Boxing Club (Brian Lawless/PA)

Fellow councillor Michael O’Connor added: “Pete Taylor was shot.”

The body of the man killed was removed from the boxing club at around 2pm and taken from the scene in a blacked out vehicle.

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Evidence at the side of the road after the shooting (Brian Lawless/PA)

A technical examination of the area is being carried out by specialist officers.

It is located at the harbour in Bray town.

There was a heavy gardai presence at the scene on Tuesday as officers investigated the shooting.

Local Sinn Fein TD John Brady tweeted: “Absolutely shocking news coming from Bray Boxing club this morning. Another dark day for Bray.”

Ireland’s health minister, Simon Harris, who represents the constituency of Wicklow, tweeted: “Shocking news in Bray this morning. I have no doubt that the Gardai are doing all they can to apprehend those responsible.”

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