The Monk, will Rest and Reflect, in his Cell, after the First Week, of the Trial of the Decade? Many Names will be, Mentioned, in the Coming Weeks?

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HUTCH TRIAL | 

Six members of Regency ‘hit team’ caught on CCTV running down lane minutes after murder

Some 35 minutes after the BMW parked up, at 2.40pm, six people run back down the lane, including a man in a wig pulling a suitcase and a person in fluorescent jacket.

An armed officer outside court today.  Pic:  Collins
An armed officer outside court today. Pic: Collins
Raiders disguised as Garda armed with AK47 Assault Rifles enter the front door of THe Regency Hotel yesterday.
PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Raiders disguised as Garda armed with AK47 Assault Rifles enter the front door of THe Regency Hotel yesterday. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN

22nd October 2022

A JEEP linked to a man accused of assisting in the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel was seen on CCTV parking at GAA grounds near the hotel minutes before the attack, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

The BMW X5 allegedly linked to Jason Bonney was seen parked at a spot used by vehicles involved in the raid, before a “man in a flat cap” ran up to it and got in after the shooting, prosecutors maintain.

The Special Criminal Court heard one of the gunmen – now-deceased Kevin Murray – wore a flat cap during the Regency raid.

The admissibility of the video footage is being challenged by Mr Bonney’s defence.

Evidence was continuing at the three-judge, non-jury court where Gerard “The Monk” Hutch (59) is on trial along with Mr Bonney and another man, Paul Murphy over the gangland killing.

Mr Byrne (33), a Kinahan gang member, was shot dead when three masked gunmen with assault rifles, disguised as ERU gardai, stormed the hotel along with an armed man dressed as a woman in a blonde wig, and another in a flat cap.

The February 5, 2016 attack on a boxing weigh-in event happened as a bloody feud raged between the capital’s Kinahan and Hutch gangs.

Mr Hutch (59), of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin denies murdering the father-of-two.

Mr Murphy (59) of Cherry Avenue, Swords and Mr Bonney (50) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, deny facilitating the murder by providing the criminal organisation that carried it out with access to vehicles.

Raiders disguised as Garda armed with AK47 Assault Rifles enter the front door of THe Regency Hotel yesterday.
PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Raiders disguised as Garda armed with AK47 Assault Rifles enter the front door of THe Regency Hotel yesterday. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN

Today, Garda Michelle Purcell continued to lead the court through video of the movements of a BMW X5 around north Dublin on the afternoon of February 5, 2016.

Yesterday, prosecutor Sean Gillane had said it was the state’s case that Mr Bonney was seen getting into this jeep at Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock earlier. The evidence is being challenged by Mr Bonney’s defence, his barrister John Fitzgerald SC said.

Gda Purcell said the BMW is seen on the footage driving through Raheny before passing the Beachcomber Pub in Killester at 1.42pm that day. It is seen turning right off the Malahide Road onto Casino Park, leading to St Vincent’s GAA club where it parks up at 2.05pm. The court had earlier heard the prosecution maintains vehicles involved in the attack parked up at this club’s grounds.

It was also heard earlier that David Byrne was shot dead in the hotel at 2.32pm, the gunmen leaving minutes later.

Some 35 minutes after the BMW parked up, at 2.40pm, six people run back down the lane, including a man in a wig pulling a suitcase and a person in fluorescent jacket. The third person has a flat cap and is carrying a bag, Gda Purcell said.

“He puts it into the back passenger seat of the BMW, he gets into the front seat and they go off,” she continued.

An armed officer outside court today.  Pic:  Collins
An armed officer outside court today. Pic: Collins

A minute later, the BMW turns left out of Casino Park in the direction of Donnycarney Church, while a taxi exits and turns right.

The BMW is then driving through Artane, being seen at Tonlegee Road at 2.56pm. The next sighting shown to the court was at Hole in The Wall Road, Donaghmede at 3.46pm and it arrives at Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock at 3.55pm, the driver getting out and walking to a house.

The trial, which began on Tuesday, continues before Ms Justice Tara Burns, Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone.

It had been due to open earlier this month but was delayed after co-accused Jonathan Dowdall pleaded guilty to facilitating the 2016 killing, and made himself available as a state witness.

On Monday former Sinn Fein councillor Dowdall (44) and his father Patrick Dowdall (65) became the first people to be convicted and sentenced over the Regency attack. They admitted making a room at the hotel available to the perpetrators.

Jonathan Dowdall was jailed for four years and his father was sentenced to two years.

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.

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