Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Paul Neilan

A former Sinn Féin councillor and his father have pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016 as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.

Last April, former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall (44), with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, was charged at the Special Criminal Court with the murder of Mr Byrne.

He is listed to go on trial for that alleged offence, alongside other co-accused men who are all charged in connection with the murder of Mr Byrne (34), from Crumlin, at the non-jury court on Monday, October 3rd, 2022.

On Wednesday, Dowdall and his father, Patrick (65), also of Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, both pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of Mr Byrne at the hotel.

Both men answered “guilty” when the charges were read to them.

Both also pleaded guilty to participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by making a room available at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 for that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 4th, 2016.

The pair are on bail but Jonathan Dowdall was led away from the court by gardaí via a secure area and did not use the main public entrance.

Arrest warrant

Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch, of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, is also charged with the murder of Kinahan gang member Byrne.

On September 29th, 2021, Mr Hutch was brought to the court under heavy security just hours after a Casa 235 military plane flew the 58-year-old directly from Madrid to Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnell.

Last April, the High Court issued a European Arrest Warrant following an application from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for the arrest of Mr Hutch, who was wanted to face trial in Ireland.

Byrne was shot dead at the hotel after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.

Mr Hutch was extradited from Spain after his final appeal against extradition to Ireland was rejected by a Spanish Appeals Court on September 14th. He was being held in a Madrid prison.

Mr Hutch has been in custody since being arrested in a restaurant in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol on August 12th by the Guardia Civil.

In fighting his extradition from Spain, Mr Hutch argued he was under threat in Ireland from criminal groups. The Spanish court rejected this argument, stating the Irish authorities are capable of keeping him safe.

Co-accused

A nephew of Mr Hutch, Patrick Hutch, walked free from the Special Criminal Court in 2019 after charges against him relating to the murder of Mr Byrne at the Regency Hotel were dropped by the State.

Patrick Hutch (28), of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Byrne.

Co-accused Paul Murphy (59), of Cabra Road, is charged with supplying logistical support to a six-man team suspected of carrying out the murder on February 15th, 2016.

He is charged with participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by providing access to individual motor vehicles to that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 5th, 2016.

Jason Bonney (50), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13, is charged with participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by providing access to individual motor vehicles to that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 5th, 2016.

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