Some Mansion, for a Taxi Driver, a Good Brain, for Property Investments, like the Monk, Amazing.

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Regency Hotel suspect Jason Bonney’s eye-watering property empire exposed

Former boxer and partner Bonney built an impressive property portfolio worth millions from a young age

Bonney and his plush home in Portmarnock
Bonney and his plush home in Portmarnock

Yesterday at 19:16

Regency Hotel accused Jason Bonney was trying to expand his eye-watering property portfolio in the weeks after the gangland murder of David Byrne despite claiming he was living in fear and that his life was destroyed by gardaí.

The 51-year-old told Fingal County Council that he wanted to demolish a garage at his €1million home in Portmarnock, north county Dublin, and build a house for his daughter because she didn’t want to wait eight years for a council home or have to rent.

Bonney has a plush home in Portmarnock
Bonney has a plush home in Portmarnock

When he was refused permission, he took his fight to An Bord Pleanála and even had a planning officer visit his home weeks after his black BMW jeep was seized by gardai and he was given a Garda Information Message (GIM) warning him his life was in danger.

Bonney, who currently owns two houses and four apartments, built an impressive property portfolio worth millions from a young age, snapping up Georgian homes in the city centre and cashing-in during the boom.

The former boxer had been trying to develop his home at 89 Drumnigh Woods in Portmarnock at the time of the Regency attack.

The house is located in an exclusive gated estate, where Brian McFadden and his former wife Kerry Katona once lived.

Gunmen at the Regency
Gunmen at the Regency

But just five days after the Regency attack he was refused planning permission to demolish a double garage and build a two-bed property on his grounds.

Ten days later, when his BMW X5 jeep was seized, he told officers that as a result of their close attention his life was a ‘living hell’, his workers had left him, his son had fled the country and that the “love and light” had gone out of his home.

However, despite those problems, Bonney, a former boxer, managed to put up a fight against Fingal County Council and lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála on March 3, 2016.

Days before his arrest on May 27, the planning board upheld the refusal after visiting his house earlier that month and finding construction work in progress.

In a report, An Bord Pleanála said that the proposed development was intended as a home for Bonney’s young daughter and her 18-month-old son, who he claimed were entitled to social housing but who would have an eight-year wait.

The report said that permission had been granted in 2015 for an extension to the side of the existing house and for the conversion of the garage into a private gym with a bathroom.

Bonney's plush home in Portmarnock
Bonney’s plush home in Portmarnock — © Gary Ashe

Two years later, Bonney was at war with the planning department again, this time at 47 Newbrook Avenue – the house he claimed he was in when the Regency attack was taking place.

Bonney had sought permission to knock an extension on the side of the house so he could build a second two-bed property there.

This week, Julie McGlynn, who gave alibi evidence for Bonney, admitted that she had applied for planning permission to build a house on the same site but had been refused.

She told the court she was interested in buying the plot from Bonney, claiming that she saw him at the Newbrook property at the time of the shooting.

Bonney bought the €400,000 property in 2005 and later paid off the mortgage. In 2009, he bought a groundfloor apartment in Grange Lodge Court in Donaghmede, north Dublin, for cash. And in 2010 and 2012 he purchased three apartments at Railway Row in the area.

The 51-year-old, who is accused of providing a getaway car for Regency gunman Kevin ‘Flat Cap’ Murray, has long had the Midas touch when it comes to property.

Bonney began to build his property portfolio in 1992 when he was just 20 years old and together with his partner, Kathryn Halpin, bought a Georgian property on Portland Street. A year later, the couple bought a second period premises on Summerhill Parade and a four-storey building on Buckingham Street. By 1996 they had purchased a fourth property, a three-storey on Upper Dorset Street.

The gated estate of Drumnigh Woods
The gated estate of Drumnigh Woods

By 1998, when he was just 26, he had sold Portland Street and had bought commercial property at Clare Hall shopping centre. A year later, they sold two sites at Greenwood Avenue on the Malahide Road. A house built on one would fetch €390,000 by 2018.

The young couple bought a flat in a Georgian building at Pearse Square and in 2001 sold a house at Clonliffe Avenue in Ballybough in Dublin’s north inner-city, which would fetch €250,000 today.

As the property market took off during the Celtic Tiger years, Bonney cashed-in on his investments, selling Pearse Square, Summerhill Parade and two cottages at Sackville Avenue in Ballybough.

He sold the Buckingham Street and Upper Dorset Street properties before the crash in 2007 when he was 35-years-old, and only started buying again in 2010 when he purchased an apartment at the Railway Row development in Donaghmede and later added another two more to his collection.

Jason Bonney
Jason Bonney

Three years ago, Bonney became the sole owner of the house in Portmarnock, purchasing it from his wife Kathryn and later took out a mortgage on the property.

Bonney is a long-time friend of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, who at 23 was suspected of masterminding the robbery of a Securicor van outside the Bank of Ireland at Marino Mart in Fairview, which netted the raiders a record IR£1.35 million.

Jason Bonney is a longterm pal of Gerry Hutch
Jason Bonney is a longterm pal of Gerry Hutch

Hutch is suspected of investing his ill-gotten gains in building projects around Dublin with the help of his pal Paddy Shanahan and in 1995 became the prime suspect for the IR£3million Brinks Allied Security robbery in north Dublin.

Bonney was involved in Corinthians gym with Hutch when it opened in 1998 and later ran a club with his father, William, in Swords, north county Dublin. Hutch was forced to make a IR£1.2 million settlement with the Criminal Assets Bureau in 1999.

The younger generation Hutch gang is suspected of carrying out the 2009 Bank of Ireland robbery under the tutelage of older associates. Gary Hutch, who was murdered in Spain in 2015, was arrested for the €7.6 million raid.

Jason Bonney, who has pleaded not guilty to facilitating the murder along with Paul Murphy, was the only one of the accused to produce a defence at the 52-day trial.

Two witnesses claimed it was his late father William who drove the BMW the day of the murder, while his brother-in-law Paul Byrne said he was eating lunch with William Bonney at the time of the incident.

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