Thursday 14 December 2017

Sparring partner of Barry McGuigan dies after fall

L to R Danny McAllister
L to R Danny McAllister
Body found at Waterford. Pictured at the scene where a body was found at the rear of a house in Francis Street in Waterford city. Picture: Patrick Browne

A FORMER sparring partner of boxer Barry McGuigan tragically died as a result of a fall in Waterford city, a post-mortem exam has revealed.

The body of Danny McAllister (54) was found in the back garden of a house at Francis Street on Thursday night.

Gardai have ruled out foul play in his death and are treating it as a tragic accident.

Mr McAllister's family learned of his death last night and were said to be in shock.

Mr McAllister was a stablemate of Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan at Barney Eastwood's Gym in the 1980s and was mentioned in McGuigan's autobiography, Cyclone.

He was also associated with the Oliver Plunkett boxing club in west Belfast, where his father Patsy is trainer.

He was reported missing at about noon on Thursday, by friends who became concerned after they hadn't seen him since he was in a pub in the city on Tuesday night.

Top Northern Ireland boxing coach John Breen - who knew Danny back in the 1980s - said he was "saddened" by news of the former professional fighter's death.

A neighbour who knew Danny very well but did not wish to be named, said: "He used to be a boxer; he had two All-Ireland medals."

He said Danny would often talk of the time he would beat McGuigan about in sparring.

"A friend came looking for him yesterday, but he was not there. He was a very intelligent man; he'd always be pottering away, up to something. He had canaries in there."

Mr McAllister had been living on his own in rented accommodation in Waterford for some time and did not have family in the area.

Visiting

His body was found on Thursday afternoon in the back garden of the house near to where he had been living on Francis Street.

Gardai were immediately called as well as the ambulance services and while attempts were made to resuscitate him at the scene, he was subsequently pronounced dead.

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy carried out a post mortem yesterday initially at the scene and later at University Hospital Waterford.

The post-mortem showed that Mr McAllister died as a result of a fall, which caused a broken neck.

Detectives are also seeking witnesses who might have been in the Francis Street area between St Patrick's night and Thursday morning.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact the garda station in Waterford on 051-305300 or the garda confidential line on 1800-666111.

hnews@herald.ie

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