Former Sinn Fein, Golden Boy, Dowdall, the New Pinocchio, as the Monk Hutch, sits in the Dock?

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Jonathan Dowdall accuses Gerry Hutch of ‘terrorising’ family with ‘barrage of threats’

The former Sinn Fein councillor was speaking to the Special Criminal Court for the fifth day yesterd

Court artist sketch of Jonathan Dowdall giving evidence in the trial at the Special Criminal Court, Dublin, of Gerry "The Monk" Hutch (third left) for the murder of David Byrne in 2016
Court artist sketch of Jonathan Dowdall giving evidence in the trial at the Special Criminal Court, Dublin, of Gerry “The Monk” Hutch (third left) for the murder of David Byrne in 2016 (Image: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire)

17th December 2022

Jonathan Dowdall pointed at Gerry “The Monk” Hutch in court yesterday and accused him of “terrorising” his family.

The state witness said every time he rang his wife from prison, there’s a “barrage of threats and more threats”. Dowdall, 44, also told the Special Criminal Court he did not want to discuss a gun attack in his uncle’s home.

The former Sinn Fein councillor was in the witness box for the fifth day yesterday, and the fourth under cross examination from Brendan Grehan, defending Hutch. Hutch, 59, of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.

Yesterday the court heard how Dowdall’s uncle Jimmy’s house was “shot up”. His uncle allegedly told gardai that Dowdall was the only person he had trouble with but he was happy it was not him.

On bugged audio tapes from his car journey north with Hutch on March 7, 2016, Dowdall is heard saying that he was involved and adding: “Jimmy doesn’t know 100% that was me.”

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Dowdall said yesterday that it was “bravado talk” and when asked if he was interviewed by someone from Sinn Fein about it, he said: “We spoke about it and Sinn Fein is fully aware of the background to that and it wasn’t me.”

Dowdall then told Mr Grehan that he wasn’t going to speak about this in court and if gardai want to speak to him about it, they can. He told Mr Grehan: “I’m not going into it for your client’s benefit.

“I had no enemies before this but every person’s name mentioned in this court is another enemy.

“All this stuff ends up in the media and it hurts my family.” From the witness box Dowdall pointed at Hutch in the dock and said: “There’s more names to keep him happy over there. He’s terrorising my family.

“When I ring my wife, there’s a barrage of threats and more threats.” He also claimed: “He has already sent people to his [uncle’s] home to try and get him to come into court.”

Earlier, Dowdall had told the court that the threat level to his family reach a “whole different” level when he turned state witness. He claimed his mother had to leave the country, his daughter had to leave her job and that his young children haven’t returned to school since September.

He said: “My mother is being rang by people who she was kind to when kids, telling a 62-year-old woman she’s dead, that my children are dead.

“This is a whole different level and this is why nobody comes in and gives evidence”.

His daughter also had to leave her job while
he said kids haven’t returned to school since the new academic year over threats. He said: “Children as young as 10 – their lives are under serious threat, they haven’t been in school since September and death threats are issued on their Twitter pages.

“The schools won’t take them back. My daughter had to leave her job as the company said it’s too dangerous to have her coming in and out of work.

“Everything I feared would happen has happened and worse. They had people lined up to come in and lie. The level of pressure people get put under”.

Mr Grehan played extracts of interviews Dowdall gave gardai on May 18, 2016. Asked if he accepts that he
told lies in the interviews, Dowdall said: “I didn’t tell lies to gardai. I couldn’t speak in the interviews. I’m speaking now.”

During the interviews, Dowdall is heard saying that he had no involvement in the Regency “in any shape or form” and that he had not been at the hotel in “years”. Dowdall told the court that he did not know then that the Regency hotel room was involved in the murder of David Byrne.

He said he also could not tell gardai about certain aspects for fear of what would happen to him and his family. When during Garda interviews he was told his phone had been tracked in Lifford, Co Donegal, on the day before the Regency murder, Dowdall joked: “Maybe my phone got on the bus and went to Lifford.”

Speaking in court yesterday, Dowdall said that gardai saw that area as significant as Kevin “Flat Cap” Murray was from there. Dowdall said: “Flat Cap was from that area and they believed I drove to that area to meet Flat Cap.”

He added that he did not know or did not ever meet Murray. When asked by Mr Grehan if he was lying to gardai about Lifford “as a precaution”, he denied this.

Mr Grehan also asked was it a shock for him learning of the taped audio recordings on a car journey with Hutch.

Dowdall said: “It would come as a shock to anybody, wouldn’t it?” The trial continues on Monday.

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