Enniscorthy group in narrow escape from Dublin shooting
A GROUP from Enniscorthy had a narrow escape as bullets started flying outside of the National Stadium in Dublin on Friday night as the bloody Hutch-Kinihan gang feud rumbled on. Sean Dempsey from Sacre Coeur Boxing Club was fighting on the night and a good delegation from the Enniscorthy club accompanied him as he took to the ring.
Luckily for the group, they had just departed the stadium when the chaos unfolded, resulting in two people receiving gunshot wounds - one an associate of the Hutch family who was believed to have been the target of the shooting, the other a student with no links to organised crime at all.
Sean’s trainer Frankie Kirwan says that they had a lucky escape on the night and that they were just over five minutes away from the stadium on the Long Mile Road when they got a call enquiring if they were okay and telling them of the chaos they had left behind them. Had they been just five minutes later leaving the stadium, they could’ve been caught up in the bloody scenes.
‘We were literally five minutes gone when it happened,’ said Frankie. ‘It’s frightening. I rang a friend of mine from a boxing club in Kildare to see what was happening and he said it was chaos inside the stadium. There were kids as young as 11 years of age terrified and hiding underneath the ring. The stadium was completely closed off and nobody was allowed in or out for hours. It was a good job we got out when we did.’
Frankie said that some concerns had been expressed and the National Stadium had tried to take certain precautions with youngsters with a link to the notorious Hutch family due to take part over the weekend. However, the measures didn’t appear to work as more blood was spilled in one of the bloodiest gang feuds the state has ever seen.
Frankie says these incidents are having a detrimental effect on the sport of boxing, particularly the fact that an underage event was targeted.
‘How can you reassure people that their youngsters will be alright?’ he asked. ‘This was an underage event and children as young as 11 were cowering under the ring. People don’t want to take a chance. It’s having a massive impact on boxing. The under-22 finals were on the next day and there were very few spectators at it. I don’t know what they’re going to do. You could increase garda presence at these things, but that doesn’t really help. You wouldn’t see a massive garda presence at an average GAA game. It’s terrible for the sport.’
As it turned out it wasn’t a great night for the club as young Sean Dempsey lost his fight on a split decision, however, they can be glad that everyone got out of the National Stadium unharmed given the frightening circumstances.
Gardai at the scene of Friday’s shooting outside the National Stadium on the South Circular Road, Dublin. Boxing coach Frankie Kirwan.