Regency murder suspect being cared for by relatives in local town
THIS is Regency Hotel suspect Kevin ‘Flat Cap’ Murray being brought for an afternoon stroll, just weeks after a judge ruled he was too ill to be extradited because he was in a hospice.
Looking frail and gaunt, the 47-year-old is strapped tightly into a wheelchair as he is pushed by a relative in his home town of Strabane, Co. Tyrone yesterday.
The Sunday World snapped Murray – suspected of being the gunman known as ‘Flat Cap’ – as he enjoyed a day out, just two months after a court heard he was completely bedridden and being fed through a tube.
He managed a smile as passersby greeted him and other family members on the 30-minute walk, before returning to a nearby house.
The dad-of-one, who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease last year, had been receiving end-of-life care at a local hospice.
However, it can be revealed that he is no longer receiving full-time care there and is now being looked after by relatives.
He has been spotted in his home town over the last month and even attended a recent football match accompanied by friends and family.
Our exclusive pictures can be revealed just over a month since a judge ruled that “rapidly deteriorating” health meant he could not be extradited for trial for the murder of Kinahan Cartel gangster David Byrne.
Dissident figure Murray is believed to have been one of the two men photographed by the Sunday World outside the Regency Hotel fleeing from the scene while carrying handguns.
He was allegedly hired by the Hutch gang for the hit that sparked the most vicious gangland war in Irish history.
Extradition proceedings were ended at Belfast Recorder’s Court in May when Her Honour Judge Patrica Smyth ruled: “I’m satisfied the only appropriate course I can take is to discharge the requested person.”
Lawyers for Murray opposed his extradition by claiming it was unlikely he would ever stand trial because his motor neuron disease is so severe.
They argued that it would be unjust and oppressive to send a man receiving end of life care to face a murder charge.
The court heard Murray – who has links to dissident groups – is completely bedridden, suffering from respiratory difficulties and being fed through a tube. He is also unable to converse and has limited power in his arms and legs.
Counsel for the Irish State accepted that his extradition is currently barred, but sought a three-month adjournment to see if there is any improvement in his condition.
However, Judge Smyth held: “It’s clear from the doctor’s report of March 2017 that the requested person is dying of motor neuron disease.”
Confirming the decision to discharge Murray, she acknowledged he was being sought for prosecution over a murder and said a fresh extradition application could be made if medical opinion changes in future.
The Regency Hotel shooting has lead to a wave of murders, attempted murders and shootings – including the deaths of two innocent people murdered in a case of mistaken identity.
A number of dissident groups – including the RIRA and the New INLA – are believed to have taken sides and have been responsible for shootings as part of the feud.
Last week it emerged that a man based in Co Louth became the latest dissident-linked figure to be quizzed by in connection with the feud.
Detectives investigating the botched hit on James ‘Mago’ Gately have questioned a man linked to the RIRA and have seized his car.
A source has told the Sunday World the suspect – who is in his 50s – was previously involved with RIRA, but is no longer involved with the dissident group.
He had also been associated with the Continuity IRA but is no longer with that grouping.
“He is a criminal for hire at this point, not a dissident. The RIRA [now known as the New IRA] would still be on the Hutch side of things.”
A Dublin man with links to the Kinahan Cartel who was arrested in Birmingham last week was released from custody on Friday – pending an “investigation”.
The convicted criminal – who was previously a target for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) – was one of three men taken into custody as part of an investigation into the supply of illegal firearms.