The Late Colm Fox was a decent, diligent, senior Police Officer but more importantly, according to all sources, a decent human being. Many questions remain unanswered.

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Tragic lead investigator in Regency Hotel murder trial Colm Fox ‘was doing work of multiple gardai’

His death led to Patrick Hutch walking free on Wednesday after the charge against him was dropped.

The lead investigator in the Regency murder trial was performing the work of multiple senior gardai, it has emerged.

Sources have revealed the last months of Detective Superintendent Colm Fox’s life saw him performing the duties of two Superintendents and was short of detective inspectors.

He was found dead in his office in Ballymun Garda Station in Dublin on February 10, 2018.

His death led to Patrick Hutch – who was on trial accused of murdering David Byrne in the 2016 Regency Hotel shooting – walking free on Wednesday after the charge against him was dropped.

A source said: “At the time of his death Colm Fox was dealing with a huge shortfall in high ranking officers to deal with the day to day operation of detective duties.

Detective Superintendent Colm Fox (left) was the lead investigator in the Regency Hotel murder trial. Patrick Hutch (right) was accused of murdering David Byrne (inset)
David Byrne was shot dead at boxing weigh in at the Regency Hotel in Dublin on February 5, 2016.

“This was not just in the Ballymun district area – in simplest terms he has handling half of the city because another Detective super hadn’t been appointed.

“The work load was massive and it was made even worse because he was short of detective inspectors.

Watch again

Regency murder victim David Byrne’s family outside Criminal Courts of Justice

“He was handling all the paper work and decision making for a huge swathe of the city and there was no sign of anything being done to help him with the burden.”

At the time of his death there was a significant shortfall in high ranks.

Patrick Hutch leaves the Special Criminal Court after all charges were dropped against him regarding the Regency Hotel murder on Feb 5, 2019 (Image: Padraig O’Reilly)
Patrick Hutch leaves the Special Criminal Court after all charges were dropped against him regarding the Regency Hotel murder of David Byrne (Image: Padraig O’Reilly)

Sources have said that there was a constant request for promotions of officers to fill those positions but they remained unfilled.

A source who knew Colm Fox said: “He was super dedicated and was one of these officers who dealt with policing as a vocation – he believed in helping people.

“He didn’t want to let the side down – the pressure on him was immense. When it gets to the inquest it will be a self inflicted injury that caused his death.

“On one side members want him to be left to rest in peace but it is important that the story around his death is explained.”

Relatives of David Byrne react outside the Special Criminal Court in Dublin after charges where dropped against Patrick Hutch (Image: PA)
Ballymun Garda Station and inset, Detective Superintendent Colm Fox

It is understood that on the night of his death he left three notes – these notes were found in his office and in post boxes of colleagues.

The notes contained references to “mistakes” in the Regency investigation but did not go into detail.

A source said: “He had expressed concerns weeks earlier that he was being set up for a fall on the Regency investigation by defence barristers.

“People dismissed this as just general bunker mentality comments but clearly he was burdened by it.”

Sadie Byrne, mother of David Byrne who was murdered at the Regency Hotel in Dublin in 2016, reacts outside the Special Criminal Court in Dublin after charges where dropped against Patrick Hutch (Image: PA)
David Byrne

At Monday’s hearing in the Special Criminal Court, Sean Gillane, SC for the State, said that they were unable to proceed with the case against Patrick Hutch in the wake of the death of Colm Fox.

Mr Gillane told the court that his team had carried out a “comprehensive analysis of evidence” as the case was adjourned as Gardai investigated the death of the officer.

He said: “Sadly with the passing of Detective Superintendent Fox we are in the situation that we are are not in a position to lead evidence on a number of aspects of the case.”

It was said during the case that two garda detectives had allegedly identified Hutch as a gunman dressed as a woman in a blonde wig from press photographs.

The case was adjourned pending the completion of the investigation into the death of Superintendent Fox.

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Fred concludes:-  Looking at the above photos of Colm Fox and reading the story printed on the Mirror, it is not difficult to see sadly the stress that this man was under for a number of years.  I only came across the information on this paper in the last couple of days and it is hard to comprehend that Colm Fox, not alone was the leading investigator of the Kinahan-Hutch Feud, but he was also doing the work of two other Superintendents and overseeing many other Garda stations.  Commissioner Harris is not responsible for this; if you go back to Noirin and the team around her, which includes Lorraine Wheatley and the rest, then more questions must be asked? 

The State hired one of the best SC’s in the country – Sean Gillane.  It was one of the highest criminal profile cases in the history of the State.  I am talking about the shooting at the Regency hotel and how Hutch could walk out, hop on a motor bike and away like the four winds – it is alleged he is in a safe house across the border or then maybe he is in Turkey with his uncle and other family members? One question that comes to mind now is:  everybody on this Island with a sense of reason can see clearly Hutch and the wig and the AK47.  I have seen people convicted with less evidence down the years.  I am not trying to undermine the integrity of Sean Gillane and his legal team in any way, I am just trying to get my head around all of this because one has to understand that after the shooting at the Regency, 17 more lives were lost in retaliation and tit for tat shootings.  Could this have been prevented?  Well this would mean asking the senior Gardai at Garda HQ.  I also am flabbergasted at the lack of main media coverage of how and why this case collapsed and the details of same.  Over a year ago, papers did write about a mix up with emails between different Gardai and difference of opinions in relation to photos regarding the Regency shooting and other matters within the investigation. 

If we ever needed a whistleblower in relation to the above, the time is now and I would never offend the Fox family in any way but I am sure they themselves are searching for answers.  I want to close today by saying – Read the article by Ciaran Goggins on his bloc relating to Stakeknife and the question that has been asked for years – Who murdered Eddie Fullerton, SF councillor?  There are Gardai down here who could supply the answers because my research and sources can tell me that the Loyalist Hit Gang had free travel on roads and there were no checkpoints.  Back to Ciaran Goggins:  His research is exemplary and he knows in an in depth way what he writes about.  I  recommend also his Podcasts and is worth giving special attention to the corruption in the London Met.  One more point before I go, a Garda Kavanagh is taking Commissioner Drew Harris to the High Court for having been removed from a certain Garda unit.  This Garda, according to today’s papers is living with a woman, whose family are alleged to have serious ties with well known criminals.  I cannot say anymore for legal reason but I always remember the saying “You can be judged on the people you associate with. 

To be continued:  Fred



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