herald

Monday 22 October 2018

Threats to murder hero boxer

IRA gangs threaten to kill hero boxer after a row in pub

AN international boxer has been warned that his life is under threat from two dissident Republican gangs.

Irish cruiserweight champ Ian Tims, |who is nicknamed ‘The Tank', has fallen foul of the Real IRA and Continuity IRA even though he is not involved in crime.

Gardai have already prevented one attempt on the life of the 32-year-old who lives in Ballyfermot.

Sources say that he has got "sucked into a vicious feud" just because of who one of his friends is.

"Mr Tims is not a criminal but he is being targeted because of a row in a pub -- it is a very unfortunate situation for the man who is well respected in his own community and within the boxing world," said a source.

It is understood that Mr Tims has received formal notification that there is an active threat against his life and the terrorists that want him dead have already been involved in a number of gun murders this year in the capital.

Despite the active threat against his life, Mr Tims has put an important arm operation on hold in a bid to claim European boxing honours.

'The Tank' is said to be confident of an EBU-EU European title success against Juho Haapoja in a major bout in Finland on January 21 and is understood to be undergoing a rigorous training regime.

Mr Tims, who is a former amateur heavyweight champion, has suffered a number of setbacks this year.

Apart from the active death threat against him from some of Ireland's most dangerous criminals, the boxing star's best pal was savagely murdered in a knife attack in August.

No one has yet been charged with the murder of Mr Tims' childhood friend Kevin Kenny who was stabbed to death when he intervened in a row outside Ruby Finnegan's pub in Ballyfermot.

The murder has led to a massive garda investigation which has included eight arrests and gardai are now close to solving the shocking crime.

The chief suspect for the murder is part of a ruthless new gang who have been causing chaos in west Dublin all year.

It is understood that the murder of his pal left Mr Tims completely devastated and in the aftermath of the stabbing he paid tribute to his friend.

"You couldn't meet a nicer man or better friend. I want to make sure his name isn't dragged through the mud," the boxer told reporters.

Mr Tims' most serious brush with the law happened in October, 2010, when he was given a four-month sentence at Dublin District Court after gardai found a machete and nunchuks in his car when it was stopped at Clifden Road, Ballyfermot, on December 7, 2008.

Evidence was given that gardai became suspicious when they saw Mr Tims exiting a roundabout at speed, before parking erratically.

He seemed nervous and agitated when gardai spoke to him and they decided to carry out a drugs search of his car.

No drugs were found but the nunchuks and machete were.

Mr Tims told the court he had seized the nunchuks a week earlier while working on the door of the 79 Inn in Ballyfermot.

A reliable local source told the Herald today: "Ian Tims does not deserve to be targeted by these gangsters -- he is a good man."

kfoy@herald.ie

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