These Arrests came very Suddenly – a Bolt out of the Blue; or Somebody is Talking and getting a Deal before the Courts Begin?

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Judge tells taxi driver who allegedly provided support to Regency Hotel attack €1,000 bail money is not enough

22nd April 2021

A Dublin taxi driver alleged to have provided logistical support to a six-man hit team involved in the Regency Hotel murder has been told he will be granted bail if he can provide an independent surety.

Paul Murphy (59), of Cherry Avenue in Swords, was also told that a proposed €1,000 cash sum put forward was insufficient, and his bail application was adjourned to next week.

He is charged with having knowledge of a criminal organisation and assisting it in the murder of David Byrne by making a motor vehicle available to its members on February 5, 2016.

Mr Murphy appeared before the Special Criminal Court last night along with Patrick Dowdall (64), of the Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, and Jason Bonney (50), of Drumnigh Wood in Portmarnock.

They are each charged with an offence contrary to section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006 in relation to the fatal shooting of Kinahan associate David Byrne.

This afternoon Det Gda Deirdre Quinn, of Clontarf garda station, told the non-jury court she was objecting to the accused receiving bail due to the seriousness of the charge and the strength of the evidence in the case.

The detective said it would be alleged that Paul Murphy was part of a criminal group involved in the murder of David Byrne and gave logistical support to the persons directly involved in the crime.

She said Mr Murphy was part of a six-vehicle convoy, which included co-accused Jason Bonney, who transported persons and objects from St Vincent’s GAA Club after the murder.

Evidence was heard that Mr Murphy drove a green Toyota Avenis taxi on the day of the shooting.

The court heard that this vehicle, a black BMW allegedly linked to Mr Bonney, and a silver Ford Transit van were captured on CCTV footage in Buckingham Village before the shooting.

Det Gda Quinn said the transit van was later used to carry a six-man team to the Regency Hotel where the murder was carried out.

The court was told that after the fatal shooting, the Ford left the grounds of the hotel and drove to nearby the Charlemont estate, where six men were captured on CCTV running through a laneway onto the grounds of St Vincent’s GAA club.

The men then got into six vehicles, the detective said.

She added that five of the convoy travelled northbound on the Malahide road apart from the Toyota Avensis, which travelled back towards Buckingham village.

Det Gda Quinn said Paul Murphy was arrested by appointment on May 13, 2016, and said the accused put himself in the vehicle that day and told gardaí that nobody else had access to it.

Defence counsel Mark Lynam BL said his client was a part-time taxi driver and that his work had been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said Mr Murphy had been arrested five years ago and, despite there being a number of dramatic and tragic events following from the murder in recent years, his client has gone nowhere.

The accused was called to give evidence and said his work had been impacted “a lot” due to the pandemic.

He said he was not in position to find an independent surety and that his two children were on disability allowance.

Asked by Mr Justice Hunt if he had any acquaintance who could assist, he said that he keeps to himself and his family.

Mr Lynam said that €1,000 from the accused’s family was the extent of the money he would be able to put forward.

The three judges said that in principle bail should be granted, but that the sum offered is insufficient.

Mr Justice Hunt said the court would also require an independent element to meet the risk.

The application was adjourned to Monday and Paul Murphy was remanded in custody.

His two-accused will also appear before the non-jury court next week when their bail applications will be dealt with.

Jason Bonney is charged with having knowledge of the criminal gang involved in the murder and assisting them by supplying them with a motor vehicle.

Patrick Dowdall is charged with having knowledge of the criminal gang involved in the murder and assisting them by making a room available at the Regency Hotel the day before the murder.

Murder victim David Byrne was considered a close associate of the Kinahan cartel and his murder escalated a gang feud which has claimed up to 18 lives.

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