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File photo - The Criminal Courts of Justice, Dublin Alamy Stock Photo

Trial of Gerard 'The Monk' Hutch to open before Special Criminal Court today

The murder trial is expected to last for a number of months.

THE TRIAL OF Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch, who is accused of the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016, is set to open before the Special Criminal Court today.

Two weeks ago, lawyers for Hutch told the three-judge court that they had been forced to carry out a “fundamental reappraisal” of their trial strategy after being served with significant new evidence.

The 59-year-old’s trial, which was due to get underway on 3 October at the non-jury court, was last Monday adjourned until today to allow the defence to consider “a relatively small amount” of outstanding disclosure.

Defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC, for Hutch, told the non-jury court on 3 October that his client has been in custody for over a year and that he was anxious to proceed with his trial.

Last Monday, when asked by presiding judge Ms Justice Tara Burns about the length of the trial, Grehan said he was not in a position to say whether the trial will finish by Christmas but that it was “quite possible” it would.

“If it doesn’t finish by Christmas, I don’t suspect that it will last many weeks after that,” he added.

Hutch, last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, is charged with the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on 5 February 2016.

Hutch’s two co-accused – Paul Murphy (59), of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin and Jason Bonney (50), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 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.

The three accused men are due to stand trial at the Special Criminal Court this week.

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.

On 29 September 2021, Hutch appeared before an out-of-hours sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court charged with the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on 5 February 2016.

Hutch was extradited from Spain 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 has been in custody since being arrested in a restaurant in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol in Spain on 12 August 2021 by the Guardia Civil. A search for him began in April 2021 after Ireland issued a European Arrest Warrant in connection with the attack on the Regency Hotel.

Jonathan Dowdall

Yesterday, former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall was jailed by the Special Criminal Court for four years for facilitating the Hutch gang in the notorious murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne, as part of the first convictions in the long-running investigation into the Regency Hotel shooting.

Dowdall is currently being assessed for the Witness Protection Program after agreeing to testify against his friend and former co-accused Gerard Hutch.

Jonathan Dowdall and his father Patrick Dowdall, who both facilitated the Hutch gang by making a hotel room available ahead of the murder, won’t commence their custodial sentence for two weeks so they can “settle their affairs” and “contact various professional persons”.

Both men will stay in protective custody for the next two weeks before commencing their sentences before they are presented to the Governor of Portlaoise Prison.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

Includes reporting by Alison O’Riordan