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regency shooting

Court views CCTV of what State claims is Hutch and Dowdall travelling to Northern Ireland

In the footage a jeep can be seen pulling into a BP garage on the Newry Road in Co Armagh

THE SPECIAL CRIMINAL Court has viewed CCTV footage of what the State says is Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch making two separate journeys to Northern Ireland with Jonathan Dowdall just weeks after David Byrne was murdered at the Regency Hotel.

The three-judge court also saw footage today of what the prosecution say is Gerard Hutch’s brother, Patrick Hutch Senior, in the same area of north Dublin as convicted IRA member Shane Rowan a month after the attack.

Rowan was stopped driving north a short time later with three assault rifles that had been used in the Regency Hotel shooting.

The non-jury court was also told that Patrick Hutch Senior can be seen leaving the petrol station on the Malahide Road with “two cups of coffee and a few pasties”.

Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, spent the afternoon taking Garda Michelle Purcell through a CCTV montage using footage of what the State says is the accused Gerard Hutch and Dowdall from 20 February and 7 March 2016.

At the outset of the CTV footage from 20 February which was shown to the court, defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC, for Gerard Hutch, told the three judges that he had no objection to the CCTV footage being played subject to its proof of origin and source.

This afternoon’s CCTV compilation began at Jonathan Dowdall’s house on the Navan Road at 7.19am on 20 February 2016.

The footage, Garda Purcell said, showed Dowdall getting into his dark-coloured Toyota Land Cruiser jeep outside his house and driving in the direction of Phibsborough and Killester.

In his opening address to the three-judge court last week, Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, said Gerard Hutch had asked Dowdall to arrange a meeting with provisional republicans to mediate or resolve the Hutch-Kinahan feud due to the threats against the accused’s family and friends.

Dowdall had driven Gerard Hutch to meet the republicans on 20 February 2016, said Gillane.

At 9.11am, the jeep can be seen pulling into a BP garage on the Newry Road in Co Armagh and the driver and passenger of the vehicle getting out.

Garda Purcell said the jeep was filled up with fuel before the two men went inside the shop for about six minutes.

Gillane said the prosecution case is that the driver of the car is Jonathan Dowdall and the second man is the accused Gerard Hutch.

At 9.12am, an internal camera shows Dowdall and Gerard Hutch, who is wearing jeans, a green jacket and a hat coming into the shop.

Dowdall is engaged with someone at the check-out and pays for items whilst Gerard Hutch is at the coffee machine.

Minutes later at 9.29am, Dowdall gets out of the driver’s side of the vehicle and goes to the passenger side.

Gerard Hutch gets into the driver’s side and the jeep then travels in the Armagh direction.

Separate footage from the evening of 20 February at 7.10pm shows Dowdall’s jeep entering the car park at The Quays Shopping Centre in Newry.

The jeep pulls up outside the front doors of the shopping centre and a male can be coming out of the shopping centre to talk to the driver.

At 7.14pm, Gerard Hutch and a male are seen at the ticket machine in the car park.

Gerard Hutch, who is wearing a jacket and a hat, can be seen with the ticket in his hand, the witness said.

About a half-an-hour later at 7.47pm, Dowdall’s jeep can be seen coming southbound towards Dublin. Dowdall turns into his house on the Navan Road at 8.16pm that night.

Further CCTV footage from 7 March was shown to the court, where Jonathan Dowdall can be seen getting into his car outside his house on the Navan Road at 2pm.

The non-jury court also heard in the opening speech by Gillane that Gerard Hutch and Dowdall drove north to another meeting in Strabane in Co Tyrone on 7 March 2016 and that their vehicle was the subject of surveillance.

It was during this journey that Dowdall and Gerard Hutch’s conversation was recorded and “many topics were traversed” including events at the Regency, the existence of the feud with the Kinahan Organised Crime Group, the personnel and “efforts to make peace or agree a ceasefire”, said Gillane.

Gerard Hutch, said counsel, was captured on the recording saying: “It’s hard to get involved where the Kinahan’s are concerned, ’cause if it doesn’t work, the messenger gets it”.

Gerard Hutch was also recorded as saying that he “was not going to show a weak hand and go looking for peace”, the court heard.

It was also heard in the course of this conversation that “explicit references” were made to “three yokes” and giving them “as a present” to the republicans in the north, which Gillane said referred to the assault rifles used in the Regency Hotel attack.

In the CCTV footage shown to the court today from the afternoon of 7 March Dowdall’s jeep is seen heading in the direction of Kealy’s of Cloghran on the Swords Road.

Dowdall’s jeep is next seen turning into Kealy’s car park at 2.23pm and a male in a seating area walks in the direction of the Landcruiser, which pulls up.

At this point, Gillane told the three judges that the prosecution case is that the accused Gerard Hutch is seen walking towards the Landcruiser jeep and gets into it.

Further CCTV footage showed the jeep at the Maldron Hotel in Belfast at 5.35pm that evening and a passenger getting out.

Gda Purcell said Gerard Hutch goes to the counter, speaks to the receptionist and receives a wallet at 5.42pm. He pays for the parking ticket and goes out to the Landcruiser. The jeep then drives off.

One of the clips shows the jeep coming off the Swords’s Road into Kealy’s car park at 00.15 the following day.

A BMW is still parked up and the Landcruiser pulls up beside it. Gerard Hutch, who is wearing a beanie hat, gets out of the vehicle and gets into the BMW. The BMW drives across the car park followed by the Landcruiser a minute later.

The jeep is next seen at Dowdall’s home at 00.29, where he does a U-turn and reverses back into his driveway.

Jonathan Dowdall (44) – a married father of four with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 – was due to stand trial for Byrne’s murder alongside 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.

Jonathan 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 his friend and former co-accused Geard Hutch, who is charged with Byrne’s murder.

Earlier, Gda Purcell showed CCTV footage of a man getting out of his Insignia car at Barnes View filling station on the Donegal Road in Donegal at 11.37am on 9 March.

Gillane said that this man was Shane Rowan.

The three-judge court had heard that three AK-47 assault rifles wrapped in a rug and white shirts were found in the boot of Rowan’s car, a grey 09 Donegal registered Vauxhall Insignia, following “an intervention” by Gardai at 7.05pm on March 9, 2016 in Slane, Co Meath – just a month after Mr Byrne was fatally shot in the Regency Hotel.

Evidence has also been given that bullet cases found at the Regency Hotel murder scene were fired by the three AK-47 assault rifles.

In July 2016, Rowan from Forest Park, Killygordan, in County Donegal was jailed for seven and a half years for possession of assault rifles and ammunition.

He was also sentenced to a concurrent sentence of four years in prison for IRA membership, backdated to 9 March 2016.

Rowan can be seen parking at Clarehall Shopping Centre and going to Tesco at 3.38pm before returning to his car. His vehicle stays parked up in the same position until 4.45pm, when a Toyota Yaris comes into the car park.

At 4.55pm, the Yaris drives off the Newtown Road in Coolock followed by the Insignia. The Yaris can be seen pulling into “Mattress Mick’s” car park followed by the Insignia. “They both park into the right,” said Gda Purcell.

At 5.09pm, the Yaris is seen arriving into an Applegreen service station on the Malahide Road. Two minutes later, a male dressed in a navy jacket, black trousers, white runners and a peaked hat is seen entering the garage for a few minutes.

Gillane said: “The prosecution case is that this is Mr Patrick Hutch Senior”. Gda Purcell said he can be seen leaving the shop at 5.14pm with “two cups of coffee and a few pasties”.

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.

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

Gerard Hutch (59), last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, denies the murder of Byrne (33) during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on 5 February, 2016.

In the opening speech, Gillane said the court would hear that Gerard Hutch’s former co-accused and now State’s witness Jonathan Dowdall said Gerard Hutch had said that he [Gerry Hutch] had been one of the team that shot Byrne at the Regency.

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 5 February 2016.

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

Alison O'Riordan