The Monk, Wants his Legal Fees, paid, by the State?

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State to go to war with Gerry Hutch over bid to recoup up to €500k in legal costs

  • Published: 15:26, 8 May 2023
  • Updated: 15:26, 8 May 2023

THE State will go to war with Gerry Hutch over his bid to recoup up to half a million euro in legal costs.

Prosecutors told the Special Criminal Court today they will oppose costs being awarded to the Monk’s legal team following his acquittal for the murder of Kinahan cartel thug David Byrne.

Gerry "The Monk" Hutch outside the Special Criminal Court, Dublin, after he was found not guilty of the murder of David Byrne
Gerry “The Monk” Hutch outside the Special Criminal Court, Dublin, after he was found not guilty of the murder of David ByrneCredit: PA:Press Association

It’s believed that the bill for the 52-day trial and all previous hearings related to Hutch’s case could be up to €500,000.

The 60-year-old was found not guilty three weeks ago of the high profile assassination of drug dealer Byrne in the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.

Hutch’s lawyer, Brendan Grehan SC, told the Special Criminal Court following the not guilty verdict that he would be applying for costs.

Today prosecutor Sean Gillane SC said they would be “opposing the application”. Both counsels said they believed the matter was only up for mention today and were not in a position to proceed.

Regency suspect 'wrecked' Jonathan Dowdall-linked apartment after David Byrne hit

Mr Gillane added: “It should take about an hour to hear submissions.”

Presiding Judge Tara Burns said she would hear the matter this Friday morning.

The costs refer to Mr Grehan, as well as his junior counsel Michael Hourigan BL and solicitor Padraig Ferry for the duration of the trial, as well as all preliminary hearings since Hutch was extradited in September, 2021.

During the trial, State witness Jonathan Dowdall told the court that the Monk admitted to him that he was one of three men disguised as armed gardai who stormed the hotel in a bid to shoot dead Daniel Kinahan but after the mob boss escaped out a side door they gunned down close associate David Byrne.

But the three judges rejected the claims and said Dowdall was acting out of his own “self-interest” in testifying and said there was no independent evidence which supported this version of events.

He had also been charged with murder but this was dropped days before the trial was due to start. He pleaded guilty to facilitating Byrne’s murder and was subsequently jailed for four years.

His father also pleaded guilty to the same offence and was caged for two years.

Jason Bonney, 52, from Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13, and Paul Murphy, 61, of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin, were both found guilty of facilitating the murder of Byrne by providing motor vehicles for the Hutch criminal organisation.

The trial heard that they were part of a convoy of cars who picked up the six men who carried out the assault on the hotel.

During a sentence hearing for the men, Bonney was described as “kind-hearted family man” who had no previous convictions and had never come to garda attention before.

His barrister John Fitzgerald SC said he was a former Irish international boxer, senior coach and president of Trinity Boxing Club in Dublin and the builder had always paid his taxes.
Counsel added: “He was not on the Garda radar.”

Mr Fitzgerald  handed in what he described as “a bucketful” of testimonials as to his hard work, honesty, good character, dedication to his family, contribution to the community and boxing and the fact that he fostered a boy from care when the child was 12 who said he was treated like one of the family.

Murphy was described in court by his counsel Bernard Condon SC as operating at the lower end of the scale while other people were higher up in the criminal organisation.

The father-of-five has 67 previous convictions mainly for minor offences such as road traffic, larceny, public order and criminal damage.

He was originally from Sean McDermott Street in Dublin and changed his name by deed poll in 1987 from Christopher Ryan to Paul Murphy.

He was a private in the army for a year before working in hotels, shops, pubs and security.

He applied for his taxi licence in 1994 and has worked in the business since then.

The court heard today that he bought a car off Eddie Hutch, the brother of Gerard Hutch who became the fifth victim of the feud when he was shot dead at his home in Dublin three days after the Regency murder.

Mr Condon said: “He was merely an acquaintance of family members of people in this criminal gang.”

Ms Justice Burns said she will sentence both men on Friday morning.

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