Murder anniversary Slain David Byrne’s best pal pays tribute five years on from Regency hotel attack
Richard O’Reilly (35) signed a balloon as he stood outside the Regency Hotel with family members of Byrne.
Richard O’Reilly signs a balloon as he stands outside the Regency Hotel with family Byrne members
February 06 2021 12:55 PM
The best pal of slain cartel gangster David Byrne paid tribute to him on the fifth anniversary of his killing.
Richard O’Reilly (35) signed a balloon as he stood outside the Regency Hotel with family members of Byrne whose murder remains unsolved with gardai saying they still hope to get prosecutions in the case.
Crumlin man O’ Reilly has been released from jail after serving a six-year sentence after being caught with a firearm in suspicious circumstances.
At his sentencing hearing in March, 2017, Judge Martin Nolan noted O’ Reilly had become involved in the offence due to the death of his friend and “out of grief” was going to “exact retribution or vengeance.”
The friend that Judge Nolan referred to was David Byrne – a key player in the Kinahan cartel before he was shot dead by the Hutch mob on that fateful day.
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In the weeks after the murder of Byrne, it is understood that O’ Reilly was warned by gardai about an active threat on his life because of his friendship with the slain hood.
Gardai believe that Richard O’Reilly was on his way to carry out a hit for the Kinahan cartel when he was busted with a handgun, ammunition and a can of petrol.
O’ Reilly had been the subject of a major surveillance operation by detectives in the days before he was arrested in June, 2016.
When the car O’Reilly was stopped in at Walkinstown, it is believed that he was on the way to kill at least one member of the rival Hutch mob.
Ross Hutch and a number of his associates were spotted watching the Ireland v Belgium game in European Championships game on that Saturday afternoon in a city-centre pub which presented an opportunity for the Kinahan side of the feud to attack them, gardai believe.
However, detectives were aware of O’ Reilly’s plans and it is understood that he collected a deadly Glock handgun and ammunition from a Kinahan arms depot in Co Kildare shortly before he was arrested on the afternoon of June 18, 2016.
Richard O’Reilly was a close pal of slain David Byrne
Judge Nolan said he could infer from the evidence in the case that if the right occasion had occurred O’Reilly intended to use the weapon.
He said the Glock semi-automatic pistol gardai recovered was “literally a lethal weapon,” noting it was a highly effective firearm in good condition.
Defence counsel, Michael Bowman SC, said O’Reilly had gone through an “emotional crisis” which had left him vulnerable to those who would use him for their own ends. He said O’Reilly had identified the death of his friend as the “sole trigger” for the possession of the gun.
O’Reilly, of Windmill Road, Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty to possession of the weapon in suspicious circumstances at Walkinstown Avenue, Walkinstown on June 18, 2016.
He had one conviction for possession of stolen property and was in custody since his arrest.