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Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016

A date was also set at the Special Criminal Court this evening for the trial of Hutch.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated Sep 29th 2021, 9:19 PM

GERARD ‘THE MONK’ Hutch has appeared before an out-of-hours sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court tonight charged with the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.

Defence counsel for Hutch, Brendan Grehan SC, told the three-judge that he was reserving his client’s position in relation to the lawfulness of his arrest, the charge brought against him and in respect of the jurisdiction of the court.

A date was also set at the Special Criminal Court this evening for the trial of Hutch.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge David McHugh, fixed a trial date for Hutch of 3 October 2022, where the accused will go on trial alongside four other co-accused, who are charged in connection with the murder of David Byrne.

Hutch was brought to court tonight under heavy security just hours after a Casa 235 military plane flew the 58-year-old directly from Madrid to Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnell in the southwest of Dublin.

Hutch arrived under armed garda escort and amidst tight security to the Criminal Courts of Justice building on Parkgate Street shortly before 8pm this evening.

Last April, the High Court issued a European Arrest Warrant following an application from the Director of Public Prosecutions for the arrest of Hutch, who was wanted to face trial in Ireland.

David Byrne (34), from Crumlin, was shot dead at the hotel on the Swords Road in Dublin in February 2016 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.

Hutch, was extradited from Spain this afternoon after his final appeal against extradition to Ireland was rejected by a Spanish Appeals Court on 14 September. He was being held in a Madrid prison.

Hutch is charged with the murder of David Byrne, contrary to common law, at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on 5 February 2016.

State solicitor Ciara Vibien told the court this evening that an application was made to the Special Criminal Court for an arrest warrant for Hutch on 24 March this year in respect of one charge and the court issued a warrant on that date.

Detective Superintendent Paul Scott, of Ballymun Garda Station, gave evidence to the Special Criminal Court of Hutch’s arrest, charge and caution.

He told State Solicitor Ciara Vibien that he arrested the accused at Baldonnell Aerodrome at 7.12pm this evening on foot of the warrant issued by the Special Criminal Court.

In addition, Detective Superintendent Scott said that he outlined to Hutch that the Special Criminal Court is chosen if the ordinary courts are inadequate to secure the administration of justice in relation to a trial and the preservation of public peace and the DPP had directed that the accused man be brought before the Special Criminal Court for trial.

The court further heard that Detective Superintendent Scott met Hutch in the precincts of the Special Criminal Court later this evening, where he handed him a copy of the original charge sheet, which he read over and explained to him.

Hutch, who appeared before the court wearing a white linen jacket, a white shirt, mustard pants and a face mask covering his grey beard, stood as requested when the court registrar read the charge to him. Asked if he was Gerard Hutch, he replied: “Eh yes”.

The book of evidence was then served on Hutch.

Hutch is represented by Padraic Ferry and Tony Collier of Ferrys Solicitors.

Vibien said there was a trial date set in relation to other co-accused for 3 October 2022 and she asked that Hutch come into that date, which the three judges acceded to.

Defence counsel for Hutch, Brendan Grehan SC, said he was reserving his client’s position in relation to the lawfulness of the arrest and the charge brought against him. The barrister said he was also reserving his position in respect of the jurisdiction of the court.

“We are considering matters in relation to bail. I have to take instructions and that matter will require serious consideration but that will be to the High Court,” he said.

Grehan said he was seeking a date in the next two weeks “in case ancillary matters arise”.

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Furthermore, the lawyer said there may be an application for separate trials but that can be dealt with in due course.

Grehan also said Hutch was fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and had received a negative Covid test today.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Hunt, sitting with Judge Berkeley and Judge McHugh, remanded Hutch in custody until 15 October at 10.30am.

Hutch has been in custody since being arrested in a restaurant in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol on 12 August by the Guardia Civil. A search for him began last April after Ireland issued a European Arrest Warrant in connection with the attack on the Regency Hotel.

In fighting his extradition to Spain, Hutch argued he was under threat in Ireland from criminal groups. The Spanish court rejected this argument, stating the Irish authorities are capable of keeping him safe.

However, the three judges of the Spanish court did concede to a request by Hutch to serve any sentence which might be imposed by the Special Criminal Court in Spain as he is a full-time resident of the country.

It took into account that the Dublin man is a Spanish resident who has paid tax there since 2012 and whose family live in the country.

Hutch, of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3 is the third man to be charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on 5 February 2016.

A nephew of Hutch, Patrick Hutch, walked free from the Special Criminal Court in 2019 after charges against him for the murder of Byrne at the Regency Hotel were dropped by the State. Patrick Hutch (28) of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Byrne.

Last April, former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall (43), with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 was charged at the non-jury court with the murder of Byrne at the hotel. He will go on trial alongside three other co-accused, who are charged in connection with the murder of David Byrne, at the Special Criminal Court on 3 October 2022.

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

About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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