Armed checkpoints after weigh-in murder

Media captionPolice in the Republic of Ireland appealed for calm after a gun attack at a boxing weigh-in in Dublin in which a man was killed.

Armed police in the Republic of Ireland have been manning checkpoints in a bid to prevent retaliation for the murder of a man at a boxing weigh-in in Dublin.

The man who died was David Byrne, 33, from Raleigh Square in Crumlin in the south of the city.

Police now believe at least six people were involved in the gun attack at the Regency Hotel on Friday afternoon.

They said they were making progress in identifying some of them.

Two other men were injured in the attack at the hotel at about 14:30 local time. One has since checked himself out of hospital. Irish broadcaster RTÉ is reporting that the other man was shot in the chest.

RTÉ said the checkpoints are due to continue for at least the next few days.

Armed police have been manning checkpoints in Dublin city centre. Police are maintaining a presence at the Regency Hotel and have indicated they will be making international inquiries as part of their investigation through Interpol, Europol, and their liaison officers in the UK and Spain.

Police said three of those involved in the attack wore police-style SWAT team uniforms.

Those dressed in the police uniforms were armed with assault rifles.

Image copyright

Image caption

Police are still maintaining a presence at the Regency Hotel in Dublin

One of the other gunmen was dressed as a woman and wore a blonde or auburn wig. The other was described as being middle-aged and stocky and wore a beige cap. They were both armed with handguns.

The sixth gang member was driving a getaway van.

Image copyright

Image caption

Mr Byrne’s body was removed from the hotel on Friday night

A van was found burned out a short time after the shooting in the Charlemont estate in the Marino area of Dublin.

Police have appealed for information from anyone who may have seen a silver Ford Transit van in the vicinity of the Regency Hotel between 13:30 and 14:30 local time on Friday afternoon.

“Did anybody see this van in the vicinity of Swords Road, Griffith Avenue or the Charlemont estate in Marino between 14:30 and 15:00 or at any time in any location in the last number of days?” Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan added.

The shooting happened during a weigh-in for a World Boxing Organization (WBO) title fight between Jamie Kavanagh and Antonio Joao Bento.

Mr Kavanagh tweeted to say he was “OK”, adding: “I was lucky today is all I can say.”

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny described the attack as “a new low”.

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said the shooting was “despicable”.

Retaliation fears

RTÉ is reporting that police are concerned that there could be retaliation for the attack.

Image copyright

Image caption

Forensic officers at the scene of the shooting

The broadcaster has said police suspect the shooting could be related to an ongoing feud between two criminal gangs following the murder of Dubliner Gary Hutch in Spain last year.

It said Mr Byrne was well-known to police and had been questioned several times over serious and organised crime.

‘Never felt terror like it’

BBC Radio Foyle’s sports reporter Kevin McAnena, who was at the weigh-in, said he “never felt terror like it” when one of the attackers pointed a gun at him.

He said he saw one of the gunmen shoot a man in the leg “about six feet away” from him.

“I heard two loud gunshots from outside coming into the hotel,” he said.

Media captionReporter Kevin McAnena was at the boxing match weigh-in when gunmen opened fire.

“At which point, two men, who I thought were [police] officers – turns out they were just dressed up in [police] uniform – came in with guns.”

‘Pointed the gun at me’

He said he believed “the man I saw shot is the man that is now dead”.

Image copyright

Image caption

Police now believe six people were involved in the attack

The pay-per-view channel Box Nation was due to broadcast Saturday’s fight as part of the Clash of the Clans show at Dublin’s National Stadium.

But it has said the event had now been cancelled.

Image copyright

Image caption

The hotel was cordoned off by police for a forensic examination after the attack

comments powered by Disqus