Court ruling | 

Gerry Hutch and Jonathan Dowdall not allowed to seek dismissal of Regency Hotel murder charges

The two men are due to stand trial later this year accused of the murder of Kinahan associate David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.
Jonathan Dowdall

Jonathan Dowdall

Robin SchillerSunday World

Gerry Hutch and former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall will not be able to apply to have their murder charges dismissed.

The two men are due to stand trial later this year accused of the murder of Kinahan associate David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.

They had sought to have the charges dropped, under Section 4E of the Criminal Procedure Act 1967, on the grounds that there is an insufficient case to put them on trial.

However, the Special Criminal Court first had to determine if it had jurisdiction to hear the application.

The State argued that the section is clear in its literal meaning and that it is only available to accused persons who have been sent forward for trial.

As the defendants were charged directly before the non-jury court and not sent forward for trial, the prosecution said they did not fall under the terms of the section.

The defence claimed that such an interpretation would result in unequal and discriminatory treatment to the accused.

Jonathan Dowdall

Jonathan Dowdall

Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding, today said that the literal meaning of Section 4E reflects the intention of the Oireachtas.

This, she said, prohibits an accused person charged directly before the Special Criminal Court from bringing an application to have the charges dismissed.

The non-jury court said that it does not have jurisdiction in this regard and that it is not appropriate to examine the matter any further.

All five defendants were present in court today as well as Sadie Byrne, the mother of David Byrne.

After the ruling Mr Grehan informed the court that he was bringing an application to have certain evidence in the case ruled inadmissible.

He said that this evidence comprises a "major if not substantial" part of the case made against Mr Hutch.

Ms Justice Burns said given the scope of the application it would seem inappropriate to have a separate hearing on the matter.

The court said it could be dealt with in a pre-trial hearing and adjourned the matter to October 3.

Mr Hutch and Mr Dowdall were joined in the preliminary hearing of the Section 4E application by their three co-defendants.

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch (58), of The Paddocks in Clontarf, is charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road in Whitehall on February 5, 2016.

Former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall (43), with an address on the Navan Road, Cabra, is also charged with Byrne's murder.

His father Patrick Dowdall (65), also of the Navan Road, Jason Bonney (51) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 15, and Paul Murphy (60) of Cherry Avenue in Swords, are each accused of a single offence contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 as substituted by Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act, 2009.


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