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Three men charged in connection with Regency Hotel shooting in Dublin in February 2016

The shooting took place during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in February 2016.

Image: RollingNews.ie

THREE DUBLIN MEN have appeared before an out-of-hours sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court tonight charged with helping a crime gang murder David Byrne at the Regency Hotel.

Patrick Dowdall (64) with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7; Paul Murphy (59) of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin; and Jason Bonney (50) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 were each arrested earlier today and brought before the three-judge court this evening.

Gardaí objected to bail for Bonney, whom they allege was part of a well-organised crime gang involved in the murder of David Byrne.

Murphy and Bonney are both charged with participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by providing access to individual motor vehicles to that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on 5 February 2016.

Dowdall is accused of participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by making a room available at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 for that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on 4 February 2016.

The offences are contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006 as substituted by section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act, 2009.

Detective Garda Paul Darling gave evidence to the Special Criminal Court of Dowdall’s arrest, charge and caution. He told State Solicitor Ciara Vibien that he arrested the accused at Main Street, Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny at 6.30pm this evening.

The detective said he met the accused man in the precincts of the court tonight, where he handed him a copy of the original charge sheet and read over the charge to him.

Bail applications

Tony McGillicuddy BL, for Dowdall, said he intended to bring a bail application for his client but explained that some work had to be done firstly. The barrister said his client has medical difficulties and asked the court to make a recommendation that he receive the appropriate medication when he went into custody.

Detective Sergeant Stephen O’Keeffe said he stopped a black Hyundai car in Donaghmede, Dublin 13 at 4.35pm this evening and spoke to a person who identified himself as Jason Bonney. The detective said he then arrested Bonney and conveyed him to Ballymun Garda Station.

The detective said he met the accused man in the precincts of the court tonight, where he handed him a copy of the original charge sheet and read over the charge to him.

Karl Monaghan BL, for Bonney, said he would be asking the court to hear a bail application for his client and understood there would be objections to it.

“He is a person with no convictions and no bench warrants and is offering a significant amount of money,” he added.

Detective Garda Deirdre Quinn said she arrested Murphy at Cherry Avenue in Swords at 4.30pm today and conveyed him to Ballymun Garda Station.

The detective said she met the accused man in the precincts of the court tonight, where she handed him a copy of the original charge sheet and told him that the Director of Public Prosecutions had instructed that he should be brought before the three-judge court tonight for the purpose of charge.

Each of the men stood as requested when the court registrar read the charges to them.

Murphy was remanded in custody until tomorrow, when a bail application will be made to the non-jury court. Dowdall was remanded in custody until Monday, when a similar application is expected to be made.

Detective Sergeant O’Keeffe told Maddie Grant BL, for the State, that gardaí were objecting to bail for Bonney under the “O’Callaghan principles” and no bail conditions would satisfy his concerns.

Det Sgt O’Keeffe said it would be alleged that the accused was part of a well-organised crime gang involved in the murder of David Byrne.

He said it was alleged that Bonney gave logistical support to the persons directly involved in the crime by being part of a convoy and transporting persons to and from the scene, at a pre-arranged meeting point at St Vincent’s GAA club in the north of the city.

The detective said there was strong evidence in the case including CCTV used to track vehicle movements, mobile phone data, and that the vehicle allegedly used by Bonney to transport the gang was allegedly registered to his business.

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He said the accused’s home was quite substantial and he believed he was working as a building contractor and is a person of considerable means.

Giving evidence, Bonney said he could see no reason why gardaí would object to him being granted bail and explained that his wife has worked all her life and has savings.

First arrest

The court heard he was first arrested as part of the investigation in May 2016.
Asked about gardaí concerns of witness interference, the accused said he “would be in no position to intimidate anybody, with my health I’m not in a position to mix with anyone”.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge David McHugh and Judge Marie Keane, said they would need “visibility” as to Bonney’s financial circumstances and for gardaí to check the financial proposal from his wife as well as the independent surety.

“It doesn’t justify a complete refusal of bail. That is the basis upon which the court will grant bail. We will see what progress can be made,” said Mr Justice Hunt.

Bonney was remanded in custody until next Monday.

The shooting took place during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel. A man dressed as a woman and another wearing a flat cap, armed with handguns, followed by three people dressed in tactical-style garda uniforms, carrying assault rifles, raided the venue.

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Alison O'Riordan

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