Dublin Weigh-Ins Shooting – As reported yesterday on this site when the story first broke, police were quick to rule out terrorism as a possible motive for the shootings at the weigh-ins that left one man dead and at least two others injured by gunfire, one of whom remains in critical condition. The London Daily Mail has identified the dead man as 34-year-old David Byrne and is saying that he was shot repeatedly. Byrne, said to be a key member of the Christy Kinahan international drug cartel, had a long rap sheet.
The two others injured by gunfire were said to be long-time friends of the victim. Two other bystanders were reportedly hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after being injured in the stampede that followed the shooting. An estimated 200-300 people, including some young children, were in the weigh-ins room at the Dublin Regency Hotel when the chaos erupted at 2:30 pm local time.
According to the London Guardian, “the targets of the attack were key members of a Dublin criminal gang run by a notorious Irish gangster who controls a drug smuggling empire from Costa del Sol, Spain.” An ex-felon from Dublin named Gary Hatch was the victim of a contract killing last September in Costa del Sol and there is speculation that today’s shooting was in retaliation for his murder. In fact, in the aftermath of Hatch’s murder, Dublin police beefed up security at the Nov. 7, 2015 pro boxing show at Dublin’s National Stadium.
Initial reports say that three intruders crashed the weigh-in wearing police style uniforms and bearing assault rifles. It is now being reported that there was a fourth assailant, a man dressed as a woman with a wig.
Initial reports say that the gunmen escaped in a van that was later found burned. Later reports say they left on foot through the grounds of a nearby football club.
It doesn’t appear that any of the boxers were targeted. However, lightweight Jamie Kavanagh, one of the principals in the scheduled main event, may have ties to organized crime. As reported here as the story was breaking, Kavanagh’s father, Gerard Kavanagh, was the victim of a gangland slaying in 2014. It would be written that the elder Kavanagh was shot nine times at close range.
The murder of his father led Jamie Kavanagh to sever relations with his U.S. promoter, Golden Boy Promotions. Kavanagh, said to be a close friend of UFC superstar Conor McGregor, thought it important to return to Ireland to be closer to his family. Kavanagh’s most recent fight in the United States was at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, on March 20, 2015, where he disposed of veteran Miguel Zamudio in five rounds.
Kavanagh, currently 20-1-1, was scheduled to fight Portugal’s Antonio Bento. The TV portion of the show was to also include a match between Gary Corcoran, a Dubliner who is 14-0, and England’s Danny Butler (25-5). The show at National Stadium, slated for tonight (Feb. 6) was quickly cancelled.
According to the Guardian, there have been about 200 gangland-style murders in Dublin over the last 15 years with only a handful of convictions.
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