Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch pleads not guilty as trial begins over Regency Hotel murder of David Byrne

Gerard “The Monk” Hutch has been tried for the gang murder of David Byrne at Dublin’s Regency Hotel.

r Hutch, 59, officially pleaded not guilty to the 2016 murder when he was arraigned in the Special Criminal Court today.

Two other men pleaded not guilty to facilitating the murder by providing vehicle access to the criminal organization that committed the murder.

Her trial before the three-judge court without a jury, which began this morning under heightened security, is expected to last around 12 weeks.

David Byrne, 34, a member of the Kinahan gang, was shot dead when attackers, including armed, masked men disguised as Garda ERU members, stormed the Regency and during a boxing weigh-in on February 5, 2016 opened fire.

The raid came as a bloody feud was raging between the capital’s Kinahan and Hutch crime gangs.

Mr Hutch of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin denies murdering the father of two.

Co-defendants Paul Murphy, 59, of Cherry Avenue, Swords, and Jason Bonney, 50, of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin deny facilitating the murder by giving the perpetrators access to vehicles.

Today Mr Hutch, dressed in a navy blue blazer and open-necked light blue shirt and wearing black headphones, stood in front of him with his hands clasped and said “not guilty” as the murder charges were read by the court registrar.

Mr. Bonney and Mr. Murphy then stood and “answered” not guilty in turn.

Prosecutor Seán Gillane then began his opening statement.

The trial was due to open earlier this month but was delayed after co-defendant Jonathan Dowdall pleaded guilty to facilitating the 2016 murder and made himself available as a state witness.

Yesterday Dowdall, 44, and his father Patrick Dowdall, 65, became the first people to be convicted and sentenced in the Regency attack. They admitted providing a room at the hotel to the criminal organization that carried out the attack.

Jonathan Dowdall was sentenced to four years in prison and his father to two years.

Jonathan Dowdall was originally charged with the murder of Mr Byrne, but those charges were dropped by prosecutors after he pleaded guilty to the lesser offence.

The only other person to be tried in the Regency shooting is Patrick Hutch, a nephew of Gerard Hutch. Patrick Hutch had been charged with murder and gun possession but was released in 2019 after the state dropped the charges against him.

Gerard Hutch was brought back to Ireland from Spain to stand trial here in September 2021 after losing a final appeal against his extradition.

He was arrested by the Guardia Civil on the Costa del Sol in August last year on the basis of a warrant issued in Ireland and has been held in custody ever since. Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch pleads not guilty as trial begins over Regency Hotel murder of David Byrne

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