The Monk Hutch Trial, to go Ahead next Monday, and Dowdalls to be Sentenced, on the same Day?

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HUTCH TO HEAR | 

‘All systems go’ for trial of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch over Regency Hotel murder

Today, the Special Criminal Court was told Mr Hutch was anxious to proceed and it was intended to “backload” new prosecution evidence to the later stages of the trial.

Gerry Hutch
Gerry Hutch

Andrew PhelanIndependent.ie

10th October 2022

The trial of Gerry “The Monk” Hutch over the gangland murder of David Byrne at Dublin’s Regency Hotel is “all systems go” to start next week, a court has heard.

The trial had been due to open last week but was delayed after co-accused Jonathan Dowdall pleaded guilty to facilitating the 2016 killing, and made himself available as a state witness.

Today, the Special Criminal Court was told Mr Hutch was anxious to proceed and it was intended to “backload” new prosecution evidence to the later stages of the trial.

David Byrne (34), a Kinahan gang member, was shot dead when armed, masked men disguised as garda ERU members stormed the Regency and opened fire during a boxing weigh-in on February 5, 2016. His murder sparked the ongoing Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Mr Hutch (58), of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin is charged with murdering the father-of-two.

Co-accused Paul Murphy (59) of Cabra Road, Cabra, and Jason Bonney (50) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, are accused of facilitating the murder by providing access to vehicles to the criminal organisation who carried it out.

All three deny the charges.

Gerry Hutch
Gerry Hutch

Days before the trial had been due to start, former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall (44) and his father Patrick Dowdall (65) entered pleas of guilty to facilitating Mr Byrne’s murder by making a room at the hotel available for a criminal organisation.

Following the development, Mr Hutch’s barrister Brendan Grehan SC said last week the additional prosecution evidence had led to a “fundamental reappraisal of the defence strategy.”

Today, prosecutor Sean Gillane SC said a significant amount of work had gone into gathering material which had been disclosed to the defence. A “relatively small” amount of material was yet to be disclosed, he said, and “we might be able to open the case” next week.

Mr Grehan said “very substantial progress” had been made on disclosure as a result of new evidence. The defence was satisfied with the endeavours being made and that the remaining disclosure was being attended to.

“The accused is anxious for the trial to proceed,” he said. “From our point of view it’s all systems go.”

He said he had spoken to Mr Gillane about scheduling and this was a large part of the reason the trial could start next week, with the new evidence to be “backloaded” while other matters were progressed in the meantime.

Asked by Ms Justice Tara Burns how long the trial would take, Mr Grehan could not say if it would finish by Christmas. He did not know how long the latter part of the trial would take and there would be “substantial cross-examination,” he said.

Judge Burns, sitting with Judges Sarah Berkeley and Grainne Malone, adjourned the case to next Tuesday.

Mr Hutch, wearing a navy blazer and open-necked white shirt sat alongside his two co-accused in the dock and was not required to address the court. David Byrne’s mother Sadie sat in the public gallery watching the proceedings.

Last week, a pre-sentence hearing for the Dowdalls was told Patrick Dowdall booked a room at the Regency the day before the shooting and he and his son Jonathan handed the key cards over to a criminal gang member. One of the raiders, a man identified as Kevin Murray, who had paramilitary connections, was seen using the room before the attack.

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch and former family friend Jonathan Dowdall
Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch and former family friend Jonathan Dowdall

The Dowdalls were not part of a crime gang, had not been aware how the room was to be used and did not benefit from their involvement, their lawyers said. Patrick Dowdall made a “catastrophic error of judgement” and his son was the “author of his own misfortune,” the court heard.

Jonathan Dowdall had initially been charged with Mr Byrne’s murder but that charge was withdrawn by the prosecution after he pleaded guilty to the lesser offence.

Their sentencing will take place next Monday.

Gerard Hutch was returned to Ireland from Spain in September 2021 to face trial here after losing a final appeal against his extradition.

He was arrested on the Costa del Sol by the Guardia Civil in August last year on foot of a warrant issued in Ireland and has been in custody since.

A nephew of Mr Hutch, Patrick Hutch (28), walked free from the Special Criminal Court in 2019 after charges against him over the Regency shooting were dropped by the State. Patrick Hutch of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Byrne and possession of firearms.

The Regency Hotel, on the Swords Road in north Dublin has since been renamed the Bonnington.

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