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Sunday 2 April 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# secret recordings
Hutch secret recordings: Daniel Kinahan 'in a heap', 'cops like headless chickens', trial hears
Gerard Hutch has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel.

THE SPECIAL CRIMINAL Court has heard murder accused Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch tell ex-Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan Dowdall that Daniel Kinahan looked “in a fuckin heap” from photographs he had seen in a newspaper after the Regency Hotel attack.

Mr Hutch was also recorded telling Dowdall that the “cops are going around like headless chickens” and that “loads of fuck ups have after been made” in the aftermath of the murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne (33) during a boxing weigh-in at the hotel.

The trial of Mr Hutch has also heard that the two men also discussed many topics including celebrities, where Mr Hutch was recorded as saying he liked the singer Imelda May. “She’s mad as a bleedin’ brush,” Dowdall had replied.

The accused man Mr Hutch was heard telling Dowdall that “these three yokes we’re throwin’ them up to them either way”, in what the prosecution has said is a reference to giving the three assault rifles used in the Regency Hotel attack to republicans in the north.

Mr Hutch can also be heard saying: “There’s a present them three yokes” and that he wanted “to throw them up there to them as a present”. The accused also said he had to “push them” to get “them outta the village”.

Mr Hutch was also recorded as saying: “Twelve months time, there’s two RUC men dead there and them things are ballistically traced”. Dowdall replies: “They’re gonna blame them on the Regency” and “any smart copper would be saying it’s a joint yoke”.

The non-jury court also heard Mr Hutch tell Dowdall that Daniel Kinahan “looks in a fuckin heap” from the photographs he had seen in the newspaper. Dowdall tells Mr Hutch that he [Mr Hutch] is “used to the pressure from the cops through the years”. Mr Hutch says: “I’d be like that if some c**t came running in with an AK-47″ and that if Kinahan wasn’t in “an awful way ya’d say he’s totally disturbed”.

The court also heard the two men discuss convicted IRA killer Pearse McAuley and Mr Hutch can be heard telling Dowdall that him and Pearse “go back a bit”. Dowdall tells Mr Hutch that he [Mr Hutch] is “friends” with Pearse and says: “Pearse said all along if you ever needed” and “Pearse would ring them and all if you want Gerard”.

In another clip, the court heard Dowdall talking about the components for a bomb including a detonator. Dowdall can be heard saying: “you can get a det”, “the electrical pulse that goes into that makes a chemical reaction and that’s what sets it off” and “the det that goes into the plastic, so ya still need my mechanism”. Mr Hutch says “just a ball of bleedin putty”, “where you get that coil” and “what about the rubber stuff”.

Later in the conversation, Dowdall says that the newspapers don’t have a “fuckin clue about the Regency”. Dowdall says: “I don’t think the police know what is being portrayed in the paper”. Mr Hutch then says “they don’t know” and that “sure the fuckin six people don’t even know” and that “no one fuckin knows”.

Mr Hutch said that “the people that were there themselves don’t fuckin know” and that it was “all speculation” looking at “the snaps”. He added: “The cops are going around like headless chickens” and that “loads of fuck ups have after been made”.

‘You have to be careful’

The court also heard Mr Hutch and Dowdall speaking about a “peaceful process” when they were approaching Lisburn town centre. Mr Hutch said he wanted to “see what these are willing to do” and Dowdall replied, “but how can you trust them?”

Dowdall went on to say “I know you bleedin’ trust me,” and warned Mr Hutch about getting complacent or relaxed following a peace deal and added it could be “game over for your whole fucking family.”

Mr Hutch replied: “I know, ya have to be careful of these c***s, their capabilities.”

Dowdall said there’s “too many of them” and that “them Kinahan’s are a big fucking army.” Mr Hutch referred to the murder of his brother Edward “Neddy” Hutch a month before, saying: “The c***s who done Neddy have to fucking go.” He referred to them as “just fucking hitmen” and added that the “shooting has to stop” and that the IRA “would have to be at the meet”.

Dowdall said, “they’re c***s, they’d give up their ma, they would.” He said it “can’t go on like this… ya can’t live your lives like this.”

Mr Hutch then mentioned that “Clinchy”, an actor in Love/Hate had been “put in custody” prompting a conversation about celebrities including singers Adele and Imelda May, who Mr Hutch said he liked. “She’s mad as a bleedin’ brush,” said Dowdall.


At the non-jury court today, the prosecution played the beginning of an audio recording of a conversation between Mr Hutch and Dowdall while they were allegedly travelling north to a meeting in Strabane in Co Tyrone around 2.23pm on March 7, 2016 in Dowdall’s Toyota Land Cruiser jeep, that had been bugged by garda detectives.

Transcripts of the recordings, which are are being relied on by the prosecution, are being displayed on several screens in the courtroom and have been described as “part of the core” of State’s case in the trial of Mr Hutch (59), last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, who denies the murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne (33) during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.

This morning, Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, told Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone that ‘GH’ in the transcript referred to the accused Gerard Hutch and ‘JD’ referred to Jonathan Dowdall.

Last week, the three judges ruled that they would listen to the ten hours of conversations between Mr Hutch and Dowdall that were captured by gardai, despite having heard that Dowdall’s bugged jeep had been outside of the State during the majority of the recordings.

Mr Hutch’s defence lawyer Brendan Grehan SC has submitted that their “core argument” would be that gardai were aware that Dowdall’s jeep was outside the jurisdiction for eight of the ten hours of those recordings from March 7, 2016 and that the evidence harvested from that “illicit fruit” should be excluded from the trial.

The non-jury court will hear the ten hours of audio recording which begin at 2.20pm on Monday, March 7 2016 leading into the early hours of Tuesday, March 8. After this the court will hear full legal argument from counsel on both sides as part of a ‘voir dire’ – a ‘trial within a trial’ – before the three judges rule on the admissibility of its contents having regard to the extraterritoriality issue.

The Special Criminal Court has viewed CCTV footage of what the State says is Mr Hutch making two separate journeys to Northern Ireland with Dowdall on February 20 and March 7, 2016, just weeks after Mr Byrne was murdered.

CCTV footage has been shown to the court of Mr Hutch getting into the front passenger seat of Dowdall’s Land Cruiser at 2.23pm on March 7 at Kealy’s pub of Cloghran on the Swords Road. Further CCTV footage showed the jeep at the Maldron Hotel in Belfast at 5.35pm that evening. Another clip showed the jeep returning to Kealy’s car park at 00.15 in the early hours of the morning on March 8, where Mr Hutch gets out of the jeep and into a BMW.

The State’s case is that Mr Hutch had asked Jonathan Dowdall to arrange a meeting with his provisional republican contacts to mediate or resolve the Hutch-Kinahan feud due to the threats against the accused’s family and friends.

Jonathan Dowdall (44) – a married father of four with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 – was due to stand trial for Mr Byrne’s murder alongside Gerard Hutch but pleaded guilty in advance of the trial to a lesser charge of facilitating the Hutch gang by making a hotel room available ahead of the murder.

Dowdall has been jailed by the Special Criminal Court for four years for facilitating the Hutch gang in the notorious murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne.

The former Dublin councillor is currently being assessed for the Witness Protection Program after agreeing to testify against former co-accused Gerard Hutch, who is charged with Mr Byrne’s murder.

Mr Byrne, from Crumlin, was shot dead at the hotel in Whitehall, Dublin 9 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí in tactical clothing and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, stormed the building during the attack, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.

The victim was shot by two of the tactical assailants and further rounds were delivered to his head and body.

Mr Byrne died after suffering catastrophic injuries from six gunshots fired from a high-velocity weapon to the head, face, stomach, hand and legs.

Mr Hutch’s two co-accused – Paul Murphy (59), of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin and Jason Bonney (50), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 have pleaded not guilty to participating in or contributing to the murder of David Byrne by providing access to motor vehicles on February 5, 2016.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Tara Burns sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone.

Alison O'Riordan and Eoin Reynolds