'brutal attack' | 

Gerry Hutch was one of two fake ERU gunmen who shot David Byrne, Regency trial is told

“It is the prosecution’s case that he was one of the two men that discharged firearms in the direction of David Byrne”

The case against the Monk as the prosecution rests its case against Gerry Hutch

Andrew PhelanSunday World

Gerry “The Monk” Hutch was one of two armed men in tactical gear who shot David Byrne in a “brutal and callous attack” amid “complete carnage” at Dublin’s Regency Hotel, the Special Criminal Court has been told.

A prosecutor told the gangland murder trial it was the state's case that Mr Hutch was “centrally involved” and was one of the two gunmen who shot Mr Byrne.

In her closing speech to the court’s three judges, Fiona Murphy SC said the prosecution accepted that their witness Jonathan Dowdall had himself been convicted of a “disgusting” separate crime. However she said this did not mean they could not believe his claim that Mr Hutch had confessed to the killing.

Hutch (59), of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Kinahan gang member David Byrne (32) on February 5, 2016.

The case against the Monk as the prosecution rests its case against Gerry Hutch

He was killed when five raiders, three disguised as ERU gardai with assault rifles stormed the Regency in north Dublin.

The attack at a boxing weigh-in fuelled the Kinahan-Hutch gang feud.

Jason Bonney (52) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock and Paul Murphy (61) of Cherry Avenue, Swords, deny providing cars for the attack team.

Mr Bonney’s BMWX5 jeep and Paul Murphy’s Toyota Avensis taxi are both alleged to have been part of a convoy that parked up at GAA grounds near the Regency Hotel before the attack and transported the assassination team away afterwards.

Former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall had been charged with murder but instead pleaded guilty to facilitation, by helping to book a room at the Regency that was used by the raiders. He turned state’s witness and gave evidence against Mr Hutch during the trial.

The prosecution closed its case yesterday after 50 days of evidence.

Alibi witnesses gave evidence on Mr Bonney’s behalf, telling the court that they had seen his now-deceased father Wiiliam Bonney driving the BMWX5 on the day.

The prosecution called another witness in rebuttal, who stated that William Bonney was at a family lunch at the time.

Gerry Hutch (left) is on trial for the murder of David Byrne (right)

Today, Ms Murphy said the prosecution’s case was that Gerard Hutch was one of the three men who entered the Regency Hotel “disguised and covered almost entirely in tactical gear”.

One shot David Byrne and moved on while another took aim and shot him again while he was “scrambling on the floor” before firing again.

“They were part of a six-man team at the Regency Hotel that committed the murder of David Byrne,” she said.

“It is the prosecution’s case that Gerard Hutch was one of the two men that discharged firearms in the direction of David Byrne” in what was a “brutal and callous attack”, she said.

Ms Murphy described the “horrific events that unfolded over the next couple of minutes” as “complete carnage.”

She said the prosecution would say cars “belonging to and used” by Mr Murphy and Mr Bonney were in a convoy of six vehicles that “facilitated the escape of the six men involved in the criminal enterprise at the Regency that day.”

Ms Murphy said it was accepted prosecution witness Jonathan Dowdall was a man with a “serious conviction” for a “disgusting offence” and was a man who admitted he told lies in the past.

“Those aren’t things that would endear him to you but that does not mean that you should not believe him,” she said.

Dowdall had entered his plea to the facilitation charge before his statement was taken and he could have chosen to “walk away” but he did not, she said.

The court has heard surveillance recordings of conversations between Mr Hutch and Dowdall as they travelled in Dowdall's jeep to Northern Ireland on March 7, 2016.

Jonathan Dowdall (left, right) and centre, his father Patrick

Ms Murphy said on the tape, it was clear that Mr Hutch was talking about the AK47s used in the Regency and that he had “complete control and authority” of them.

She said it appeared the guns were “the gift of Gerard Hutch to give” republicans in the north, and were his to “do with as he wishes.”

Ms Murphy said he never made any denial or pushback to Dowdall’s suggestions on the tape that Mr Hutch was “centrally involved” in the Regency attack.

She said his responses to Mr Dowdall showed at worst a tacit acceptance of Mr Hutch’s central involvement in the Regency, but in truth a “expression of pride.”

What was absent was any denial, she said.

Another remark Mr Hutch made was “clearly an admission” to his involvement, she argued.

This was clearly in the context of an escalation in the feud following the Regency.

Ms Murphy said Mr Hutch “went and held up a building as one of three men in tactical gear” and he was “now arranging for the onward transport of the items that were used.”

“It shows beyond reasonable doubt that he was one of the three men dressed in tactical gear at the Regency on the day of the shooting of David Byrne and should be convicted of the offence of murder,” she concluded.

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

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