NewsCrime Desk

Regency Gunman 'Flat Cap' has died

Kevin 'Flatcap' Murray
Kevin 'Flatcap' Murray
Regency Gunman 'Flat Cap' has died

The Regency gunman nicknamed 'Flat Cap' has died.

The suspected Regency Hotel gunman 'Flatcap' has died.

Kevin Murray (47) had been diagnosed with rapidly deteriorating and terminal motor neurone disease and died at 10.50pm last night at his home in Townsend Street in Strabane.

Last December it was estimated that he had only a few months to live and it is understood that his family were informed last week by doctors that there was nothing more that they could do.

A Northern Irish judge ruled that he was too ill to stand trial in relation to the Regency murder earlier this year.

The Tyrone man was arrested on September 5 in Strabane, Co Tyrone in connection with the murder of Kinahan cartel member David Byrne (34).

He was due to face murder and firearm charges on foot of a European Arrest warrant ordered by the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions.

In May of this year a court heard that Murray was confined to his bed and was being fed through a tube.

A judge ruled that his rapidly deteriorating health meant he could not be extradited to the Republic of Ireland to stand trial for murder.

Murray's lawyers argued against his extradition on the grounds that he would be unlikely to stand trial given his condition. The extradition attempts were ended by Judge Patricia Smyth at Belfast Recorder's Court in May.

"I'm satisfied the only appropriate course I can take is to discharge the requested person," she said.

The court was told that Murray was being fed through a tube, had breathing difficulties and had limited power in his arms and legs. Counsel for the Irish State accepted the decision but sought a three-month adjournment in case his condition improved.

However, the judge said that, based on the doctors report earlier this year, it was clear "the requested person is dying".

The Regency shooting has lead to a wave of murders and attempted murders - including the deaths of two innocent fathers, Martin O'Rourke (24) and Trevor O'Neill - both of whom were shot dead in cases of mistaken identity.

A number of dissident groups, including the Real IRA and the New INLA, are believed to have taken sides and have been responsible for shootings as part of the feud.