SHAMED OFFICER |
Drug dealing ex-garda John ‘Spud’ Murphy arrested in prison in Hutch gang probe
John ‘Spud’ Murphy (63) was taken from his cell to face questioning by officers with the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation
Today at 12:04
Shamed ex-garda and convicted drug dealer John ‘Spud’ Murphy has been interviewed by gardai over his suspected links to Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, it has emerged.
Murphy (63) who is now housed in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, is serving a six-and-a-half year sentence after pleading guilty to possession of €260,000 worth of cannabis at his Dublin home in 2021.
Last Tuesday, the shamed former detective was taken from his cell to a Dublin garda station to face questioning by officers with the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
It is reported that gardai are probing Murphy’s links to Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch and if confidential information was passed onto the gang.
NCBI detectives are understood to be gathering evidence of the former garda’s links with Hutch and are investigating if the Monk could be charged with directing a crime gang.
Gardaí said they arrested a man aged in his 60s yesterday.
“He was subsequently detained at a Dublin Garda Station. A file will now be prepared for the DPP,” they added.
Gerry Hutch is currently on remand in prison awaiting a verdict in the Regency Hotel murder trial.
Hutch has denied a charge of murdering drug dealer David Byrne when a five-man hit team, three of whom were dressed as gardaí and armed with AK-47s, attacked a weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.
Last month, the non-jury court adjourned on the 52nd day of the trial, after hearing closing speeches from defence counsel representing Mr Hutch’s co-accused Jason Bonney (52) and Paul Murphy (61).
Mr Bonney and Mr Murphy have pleaded not guilty to participating or contributing to the murder of David Byrne by providing getaway vehicles for the killer gang.
The three judges will deliver their verdicts in just over 12 weeks’ time on April 17, which is five days after Mr Hutch’s 60th birthday.
It has since emerged that the DPP is contemplating bringing charges against a number of other people suspected to have been involved in the Regency Hotel attack.
However, the State prosecutor is unlikely to make any further moves until the Special Criminal delivers its verdict in the prosecution of Gerry Hutch and two other men in April.
The verdicts will be anxiously awaited by investigating gardaí and the DPP, before decisions are made on whether to proceed with charges against other individuals suspected of being involved in the attack.
In particular they will be watching the court’s assessment of state witness, former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall, who testified against Mr Hutch before Christmas.
Security sources revealed that the verdict will be “closely scrutinised”, especially with regard to Dowdall’s credibility. A decision will then be made if he is to testify in future trials of alleged gang members.
Ms Justice Tara Burns said it had been a “long and difficult trial” before remanding Mr Hutch in custody and his two co-accused on continuing bail.
Murphy is suspected of working with the Hutch gang and providing them with confidential Garda information through his contacts in the force.
The investigation into leaking of information to the Hutch gang is ongoing and sources say there are expected to be further charges in the case.
Murphy’s links to the Hutch gang are believed to stretch back to when he was still a serving officer.
Murphy was jailed last October after being caught holding cannabis resin worth nearly €260k.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that John Murphy (62) had built up financial debts of €855,000 due to poor business decisions made in the 10 years after he retired from the force.
Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, said that Murphy had “whatever the opposite of the Midas touch is” and that any investments he made “went down the drain”.
Counsel said that Murphy was consuming large amounts of alcohol every day “for as long as anyone could remember” and was a functioning alcoholic. He said his drinking had “clouded his judgement and brought him to this sorry pass”.
Judge Martin Nolan said that Murphy was holding the drugs for some type of financial reward in order to alleviate his debts but that “he should have known better”.
Murphy came forward to the circuit court on signed guilty pleas entered at Dublin District Court to an offence of possession for sale or supply of cannabis at his home in Clontarf, north Dublin on September 29, 2021.
Garda Inspector Brian Hanley from the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation told Maddie Grant BL, prosecuting, that in September 2021, gardai acting on foot of confidential information obtained a warrant to search Murphy’s home.
During the search they found eight bags of cannabis herb in a bag in the walk-in wardrobe of an upstairs bedroom. Seven vacuum packed bags of cannabis were found hidden in a coal bunker at the back of the house and another five bags of cannabis were found in Murphy’s car.
The court heard that CCTV footage was harvested from an industrial estate in Co Meath showing Murphy collecting the bags of cannabis and putting them into his car.