NewsCrime Desk

'Flat cap' Regency Hotel gunman in hiding following home raid

The so-called 'flat cap' shooter
The so-called 'flat cap' shooter

The 'flat cap' gunman who was involved in the Regency Hotel killing of gangland figure David Byrne has gone into hiding.

The shooter has "disappeared" from his Northern Ireland home, according to the Irish Daily Star, following a PSNI raid of the property.

The paper's sources say the gunman, who allegedly brought AK-47s across the border in the wake of the brutal shooting, has not been spotted in the Co Tyrone town where he was holed up for over seven days.

The criminal, who was pictured wearing a flat cap as he fled the Regency Hotel carrying a handgun following the shooting, is a suspected dissident republican from Northern Ireland who has had lengthy ties with organised crime gangs in the south.

The 56-year-old, a Co Tyrone native who has a number of previous convictions in the North, is thought to have gone underground due to fear of being arrested by gardai.

A source told the Star: "He's just disappeared – even close mates haven't seen him.

"It's not really a surprise to anyone though – a few associates had told him to get out of the country, or at least the village, as soon as he could.

"He's a sitting duck – if the police don’t get him, the Kinahans will."

The hitman had been in such fear for his life that he offered his surrender in a local police station, though was informed by the PSNI that there was no warrant out for his arrest.

However, crime cops seized the dissident's car later that day while family members were warned of threats to their lives from Dublin criminals.

These gangland heavies were believed to be close to the Kinahans as the cartel attempt to exact revenge for Byrne's murder.

The renegade shooter's paranoia then led him to engage the services of two armed bodyguards to watch his back while he sank pints in a local establishment.

Another source told the paper: "People couldn't believe their eyes – you could actually see the shotguns propped on their laps ready to go.

"Inside the bar it was business as usual – and [the 'flat cap' shooter] was drinking like he didn't have a care in the world. It got too much for a couple of the regulars who left after hearing a few of them boast about the gunmen outside."