Inside Kinahan cartel’s sinister plot to kill Patsy Hutch on school run, revealed by Dowdall’s secret notes to cops
- Published: 8:00, 30 Apr 2023
A KINAHAN plot to murder Patsy Hutch as he dropped a child to school was the trigger for the Regency Hotel shooting, Jonathan Dowdall told gardai.
The Irish Sun can reveal the secret notes the ex-Sinn Fein councillor provided to cops when he turned against Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch during a secret meeting with investigators.
The document details Dowdall’s decision to “help” Patsy Hutch before the Regency hit — which led to the escalation of the feud — and how he turned state witness.
The international mob targeted Gerry’s brother Patsy following the assassination of his son Gary in Marbella in September, 2015.
They feared Patsy would try to avenge the murder and they wanted him dead before he could.
Dowdall told gardai this was the reason he got involved — in a bid to save Patsy’s life — as the two had an uncle-nephew relationship.
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Three months after Gary’s killing, assassins then targeted The Monk in Lanzarote, but he escaped.
These actions culminated in the organised 2016 plot to whack drugs boss Daniel Kinahan at a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel. It led to the death of cartel thug David Byrne, as Kinahan escaped.
BID TO SAVE PATSY
The state witness told gardai that following Gary’s murder, Patsy came to him to seek his help in using his IRA connections to help mediate the feud and he only got involved to save Patsy’s life.
In their ruling at the Special Criminal Court on April 18, the three judges said “a reasonable possibility arises that the Regency was planned by Patsy and that Gerard Hutch, as head of the family, stepped in to sort out the aftermath of the Regency, because his own life was at risk”.
The judges also found that Patsy was “centrally involved in the movement” of the three AK47s used in the Regency hit in the weeks that followed Byrne’s murder after he was spotted in a car with IRA man Shane Rowan.
Just a half hour later, Rowan was arrested with the guns in his vehicle outside Slane, Co Meath, on March 9, 2016.
CONFIDENTIAL GARDA NOTES
In confidential Garda notes taken from Dowdall after he first spoke to cops last May, it was recorded: “In the months following Gary Hutch’s murder, Jonathan Dowdall understands that the Kinahan OCG planned to kill Patsy Hutch outside an unspecified school.
“He stated it was at this point Patsy Hutch approached him seeking help to see if dissident republicans could resolve the dispute, seemingly in a peaceful manner.
“Dowdall indicated that he travelled to Northern Ireland with his father to meet ‘Kevin Tyrone’ but he no-showed the initial meeting.
“Dowdall reiterated that it was his intention to use dissident republicans as a middleman in the dispute and help the Hutch family, in particular Patrick Hutch who he perceived at the time to be an innocent victim.”
In the months that followed the Regency attack, cops foiled at least two other plots to assassinate Patsy.
A number of Kinahan cartel members are now serving lengthy jail sentences for these crimes. Patsy and his family are still getting 24-hour Garda protection around their home on Champion’s Avenue in Dublin’s north inner city.
Dowdall is currently serving a four-year sentence having pleaded guilty to facilitating the notorious murder at the Regency by booking a room there. He will enter the Witness Protection Programme, along with his family, when the sentence ends.
Dowdall repeatedly told the Special Criminal Court during Gerry Hutch’s trial for Byrne’s murder that he knew nothing about the attack before it happened.
At Dowdall’s own sentencing hearing last October, his barrister told the court that he was not aware of the purpose or significance for which the room in the Regency was to be used and that Dowdall had not used the hotel room.
Senior officers interviewed the ex-politician in Dublin Airport Garda Station in secret in May 2022 following his release from prison. He had been freed the previous month after serving a sentence for falsely imprisoning and torturing Alexander Hurley in his home on the Navan Road.
Dowdall had been caged on the same landing in Wheatfield Prison as the Hutches and their associates, including The Monk who was on remand for Byrne’s murder.
At this point Dowdall had also been charged with murder. But his solicitor Jenny McGeever wrote to the Gardai in November 2021 indicating that he wished to speak to them in relation to the Regency.
Gardai and Dowdall were reluctant that any meeting between them should take place while he was incarcerated with members of the Hutch gang.
Officers waited until Dowdall was out on bail before interviewing him. They chose the airport garda station because lead investigator Det Sgt Patrick O’Toole trusted the sergeant-in-charge and also because it contained an interview room with a back door where no one would see Dowdall come and go.
Accompanied by his wife Trisha, Dowdall was brought to the station at 8pm on May 18, 2022.
DOWDALL’S TELL ALL
The meeting was effectively an “off-the-record” chat in an interview room that did not have recording facilities.
Over the course of the next three hours, Dowdall told officers a number of aspects of the Regency attack, which were taken down in bullet point form by Det Garda Cathal Connolly.
It was during this meeting that Dowdall first made the claims that he handed the key cards from the hotel room his father had booked in the Regency the night before the attack to Gerry Hutch on the Richmond Road.
And he claimed that when they held a secret meeting in a park in Whitehall days later, The Monk personally told him he murdered Byrne.
In their ruling, the Special Criminal Court completely rejected these claims and said it was clear Dowdall was “acting in his own self-interest” when he testified.
In the Garda notes, Dowdall also detailed how his relationship with the Hutches collapsed behind bars and he ended up communicating with them only when necessary.
It was recorded: “In prison, JD stated he confided in Shane ‘Fish’ Rowan and made a comment along the lines that he’d ‘tell the truth’ if his father was ever charged.
“Comment got back to the Hutches and following this JD’s relationship with the Hutches deteriorated, particularly with Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch. JD later fell out with Shane Rowan in prison.”
Dowdall also claimed that “Gerry Hutch indirectly threatened him in prison, stating that there would be no deals done by co-accused in the upcoming trial and if anyone gives evidence there would be consequences”.
He said that on his release from prison, ‘Del Boy’ Hutch — Patsy’s son and Gary and Patrick Jr’s brother — contacted him by phone and in-person and even called to the family home with Patrick Jr.
Dowdall also claimed that Patsy, Patrick Jr and James ‘Mago’ Gately went to Poland for firearms training prior to the Regency shootings.
Along with dissident Kevin Murray — the man known as Flat Cap who died of Motor Neurone Disease 18 months later — these were the only people he was aware were involved in the Regency hit.
After the four printed pages of notes were taken from Dowdall, gardai asked him to go off and write down everything he could about the Regency attack.
Nearly two months later he returned to the station with a 50-page typed document his wife Trisha read out to investigators.
Following further discussions with the DPP, the decision was ultimately made in September of last year to drop the murder charge against Dowdall and replace it with one of facilitating the murder of Byrne by booking the room in the Regency Hotel.
He pleaded guilty to the offence and was ultimately jailed for four years after he had made a statement against Gerry Hutch and indicated that he was willing to testify against him at the trial.
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The State insisted that the decision to drop the murder charge was not related to him giving evidence and being entered into the Witness Protection Programme, along with his family.
Dowdall is also currently appealing the length of his four-year prison sentence.