Breakthrough | 

Jonathan Dowdall state witness decision opens door to further prosecutions against Hutch gang

It is understood Dowdall’s 50-page statement could give gardaí breakthrough they need to bring other individuals before courts

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch and former family friend Jonathan Dowdall


Jonathan Dowdall’s decision to give evidence against Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch could now lead to other members of the gang facing serious criminal charges over the Regency Hotel murder.

It is understood that the contents of a 50-page statement by Dowdall could give gardaí the breakthrough they need to bring other individuals before the courts.

The statement details his involvement with others in the 2016 attack which led to the murder of criminal David Byrne.

However, it is likely that no decisions on further prosecutions will be made until after Gerry Hutch’s trial which is due to begin in the Special Criminal Court next week.

Sources confirmed Dowdall’s statement is also being examined to see if there are grounds on which the State could revisit charges against the Monk’s nephew, Patrick Hutch, whose trial for the Byrne murder collapsed three years ago.

In February 2019 the DPP entered a nolle prosequi – the decision not to pursue a case any further – following the tragic death of the officer leading the investigation into the Regency Hotel attack.

Jonathan Dowdall, right, with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, before his split from the party

Theoretically, a nolle prosequi gives the prosecution the option to resurrect the case for a second hearing, but this rarely occurs.

However, sources say Dowdall’s dramatic decision to become a State witness could be the exception to the rule and provide new evidence to mount another trial.

During the previous hearing, the State alleged that Patrick Hutch was part of the five-member hit team who stormed a boxing weigh-in at the hotel in February 2016.

He was also charged with possessing a number of firearms. He denied all the charges.

The feud was sparked when the Kinahan cartel reneged on a deal and murdered Patrick’s brother Gareth in Spain in September 2015. That was followed a few months later when an attempt was made on the life of Gerry Hutch in Lanzarote.

Two weeks ago the Dowdalls unexpectedly pleaded guilty to lesser charges connected with the Regency attack. The father and son were also escorted to and from the court under armed garda protection.

A major security operation was launched 24 hours later when three key members of the Hutch gang visited the Dowdalls’ home.

Since then the gang’s worst fears became reality when it was confirmed in the Special Criminal Court that the Dowdalls will testify against Gerard Hutch. They had been due to go on trial with the Monk and two other men.

The development reportedly left Gerard Hutch “stunned and shocked”.

Meanwhile, gardaí have been conducting a massive security operation around the extended family of Jonathan Dowdall and his father Patrick.

As part of that operation it has also been confirmed that an investigation has been launched into the use of social media by gang associates to intimidate witnesses.

These include a number of Twitter accounts which gardaí say are being used in “a blatant attempt” to intimidate the family.

They branded Dowdall “a rat” and warned him that he had nowhere to run, and that in the digital age his picture would be everywhere.

A number of sinister tweets also targeted a young female relative of Dowdall, who has no connection to any crime.

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