Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch will request a preliminary hearing as well as a request to dismiss the Regency murder charge

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, who is charged with the 2016 murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016, must request a preliminary hearing as well as a request to dismiss the charge against him, the Criminal Court special heard.

Defense lawyer Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Hutch, told the non-jury court that his client was asking for a separate preliminary hearing, which could be heard later next month.

Hutch (58), who is currently in police custody, was not in court for today’s hearing.

The three-judge tribunal must first decide a preliminary question as to whether the Special Criminal Court has jurisdiction under section 4E of the Criminal Procedure Act 1967 to hear the claim.

Section 4E states that a court may dismiss charges against an accused where there is insufficient evidence.

Today, Mr Grehan told presiding Judge Tara Burns that the jurisdictional issue would take no more than half a day. The attorney said the consequences of the decision would determine how long it would take to hear Section 4E.

Separately, Mr Grehan said there would be a request for a preliminary hearing under section 6 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2021, which he said, from Mr Hutch’s perspective, was a single question. “It could be dealt with in a day, but I don’t know what evidence will potentially be required,” he added.

Mr Grehan said defense lawyer Michael O’Higgins SC, for Jonathan Dowdall, would join the Section 6 application.

Last month, Madam Justice Burns agreed to hear a preliminary application to determine whether the Special Criminal Court has jurisdiction under the law to hear the Section 4E application.

Information heard on both applications may not be published or broadcast, except by court order.

Madam Justice Burns today listed the application of Section 4E for July 8 and said the court would rule on the matter very quickly thereafter. She added that all five defendants had to be present on that date.

In April 2021, former Sinn Fein councilor Jonathan Dowdall (43), with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, was charged in court without a jury with the murder of Mr Byrne at the hotel.

His father Patrick Dowdall (64), also of Navan Road, is accused of participating in or contributing to any activity with intent or being reckless as to whether his actions could facilitate the murder of David Byrne. The indictment alleges that he made a room available at the hotel for a criminal organization or its members on February 4, 2016.

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 an activity with the intent or not to not concern themselves with whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offense by a criminal organization or one of its members, namely the murder of David Byrne, by providing access to individual motor vehicles to that criminal organization or its members, in the state on February 5, 2016 .

All the accused are to be tried by the Special Criminal Court on October 3. If the trial continues, it is expected to last 12 weeks.

David Byrne (34), from Crumlin, was shot dead at the Swords Road hotel in Dublin in February 2016 after five men, three of them dressed as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which housed the era a boxing weigh-in.

Mr Hutch was extradited from Spain after his final appeal against extradition to Ireland was rejected by a Spanish appeals court on September 14. He was being held in a Madrid prison.

Mr Hutch is charged with the murder of David Byrne, contrary to common law, at the Regency Hotel on Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on February 5, 2016.

Mr Hutch has been in custody since his arrest at a restaurant in Fuengirola on Spain’s Costa del Sol on August 12, 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.

Mr Hutch, of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, is the third man to be charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel.

Separately, the Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals by Mr. Hutch and Jonathan Dowdall on July 5 against the DPP’s decision to try them in the Special Criminal Court without a jury.

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