En­nis­cor­thy group in nar­row es­cape from Dublin shoot­ing

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS - By PÁDRAIG BYRNE

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.

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