There seems to be, a lot of Amnesia, going around, in the Monk’s Trial, a lot of Confusion, Cars, Keys, Working on Houses, so many Stories?

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BONNEY & HIDE 

Cops told Regency accused Jason Bonney to get himself & family out of country over threats to their lives, trial hears

Updated: 21:03, 7 Nov 2022

REGENCY Hotel accused Jason Bonney was told by cops to get himself and his family out of the country because there was a threat to their lives following the murder of Kinahan thug David Byrne, a court heard.

The 51-year-old — who is on trial with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch — told officers that his son went to Australia after he was given a Garda Information Message telling him they were all in danger.

Jason Bonney was told by cops to get himself and his family out of the country because there was a threat to their lives
Jason Bonney was told by cops to get himself and his family out of the country because there was a threat to their livesCredit: Collins Photo Agency
Gerard Hutch has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016
Gerard Hutch has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016Credit: Paul Sharp – The Sun Dublin
Paul Murphy blessed himself when Gardai called to his house to seize his Toyota Avensis taxi two weeks after Byrne’s murder
Paul Murphy blessed himself when Gardai called to his house to seize his Toyota Avensis taxi two weeks after Byrne’s murderCredit: Collins Photo Agency

When he was interviewed by ­gardai following his arrest nearly four months after the attack on February 5, 2016, Bonney said he didn’t want to say much about the Regency because of the threat.

The Special Criminal Court heard he told them that he was working on a house he owned in Newbrook Avenue, in Donaghmede, when the attack took place which resulted in the death of 33-year-old Byrne.

Prosecutors claim Bonney used his BMW X5 jeep to drive members of the six-man hit team from St Vincent’s GAA Club, in Marino, after they had burnt out the silver Ford Transit van used in the attack.

CCTV shows a black BMW X5 jeep arriving in Buckingham Village, in central Dublin, on the morning of Byrne’s murder and then arriving in convoy with other vehicles at St Vincent’s GAA Club.

Sgt Ronan McMorrow told the trial he interviewed Bonney in ­Ballymun Garda Station on two occasions on May 27, 2016.

In his first interview, read to the court by prosecutor Sean Gillane SC, the accused described himself as an “ordinary, family man” who had worked all his life.

He told gardai: “I was served with a GIM notice and got him (his son) to leave the country. I was very ­frightened, shocked. I’ve been through hell and back.”

He said he was renovating his Newbrook Avenue house on the day of the murder with other workmen.

CCTV showed him leaving his estate in Drumnigh Wood in ­Portmarnock in the BMW jeep, which was registered to Bonney Construction, his dad’s firm. 

He said he was working at the house most of the day and might have gone out to a supplier. Asked by cops if anyone else ever drove his car, he said one or two of the lads who worked for him did from time to time but often just to move it.

Det Sgt McMorrow asked whether here only one key to the car and Bonney admitted he only had one but gardai found a second one when they searched his house. 

The vehicle was seized as part of the investigation days after the attack at the Regency Hotel.

Bonney said he volunteered in boxing for many years and was invited to the boxing weigh-in at the Regency by former pro boxer Matthew Macklin but didn’t go because he was working.

The accused told detectives that gardai previously told him it was the Kinahan cartel who were threatening his life.

CCTV FOOTAGE

Asked did the cartel see him as a threat to them, he said: “Absolutely not.” And asked if he knew anyone else associated with the cartel, he said: “I went to school with Gary Finnegan.”

He also said he had met Ross Browning through boxing, but said: “I didn’t know he was in the cartel until I read it in the papers.”

In a second Garda interview, he said he remembered being told about the Regency attack “after lunch” by one of the lads working on the house with him.

He was also shown CCTV images of the BMW X5 jeep which he admitted looked like his, but he wasn’t sure what his registration was.

Hutch, 59, last of the ­Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.

His co-accused Paul Murphy, 61, of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin and Jason Bonney, 51, of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 have pleaded not guilty to participating in or contributing to the facilitation of Byrne’s murder by providing motor vehicles for a criminal gang on February 5, 2016.

BLESSING

The trial also heard Murphy said “Thank God” and blessed himself when Gardai called to his house to seize his Toyota Avensis taxi two weeks after Byrne’s murder.

Now retired Det Gda William Armstrong said he spotted the gold/green vehicle outside a house on Cherry Avenue, in Swords, on February 19, 2016, and was aware it was a suspect vehicle in the case.

He told Mr Gillane today: “At 6.50pm I spoke to Paul Murphy at the house, I identified myself. He said: ‘Are you gardai?’ And when I said ‘yes,’ he said: “Thank God” and blessed himself.

“He said he owned the Avensis. He took out the keys and handed them to me. I informed him that it was being taken to a secure ­location to be forensically ­examined. I told him I didn’t know how long it would take.”

Insp Alan Govern was in charge at Ballymun Garda Station on May 30, 2016, when Murphy was first arrested and brought to the station.

He said today: “I agreed to the detention of Paul Murphy because I had reasonable grounds that it was necessary for the proper investigation of the offence.”

The trial continues before Ms Justice Tara Burns, Sarah Berkeley and Grainne Malone at the Special Criminal Court. 

A Garda cordon outside the Regency Hotel back in February 2016
A Garda cordon outside the Regency Hotel back in February 2016Credit:

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