Raid on Jonathan Dowdall’s home over Regency Hotel murder led to his torture conviction
Dowdall jr served just under six years in prison for the torture ordeal he inflicted on his victim
Former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall and his father Patrick face going back to prison just months after finishing their sentences for torturing a man.
The pair pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court today to facilitating the murder of gangland figure David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in February 2016.
Both men are still on bail following their release from Wheatfield Prison in April this year.
The Sunday World watched as the father and son were given a garda escort and driven away from the west Dublin prison having served their time for the false imprisonment and water-boarding of man.
Gardaí also brought Jonathan Dowdall out of the Courts of Criminal Justice through a secure exit after his guilty plea today.
Grieving mum Sadie Byrne and her career criminal husband James ‘Jaws’ Byrne were both in court to hear the proceedings against the men who helped in the murder of her son David during the lethal Hutch/Kinahan feud.
Kinahan cartel associate Byrne was shot dead at the hotel after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.
Cartel boss Daniel Kinahan, the intended target of the attack, escaped the hotel as the shots were fired. David’s older brother Liam, a right-hand man of Daniel Kinahan, was also present.
Today at the non-jury court, Dowdall and his father, Patrick (65) also of Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, both pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of David Byrne at the hotel.
Both men answered "guilty" when the charges were read to them. Both pleaded guilty to participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by making a room available at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 for that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 4, 2016.
Gerry ‘The Monk' Hutch is also charged with the murder of Kinahan gang member Byrne.
Hutch was extradited from Spain after his final appeal against extradition to Ireland was rejected by a Spanish Appeals Court.
Jonathan Dowdall and his dad Patrick are now facing a return to prison following their release earlier this year.
The horror crime came to light when Gardaí investigating the 2016 shooting at the Regency Hotel during which Kinahan cartel lieutenant Sean McGovern was also wounded, raided Dowdall’s Cabra home.
They discovered the video footage of the man being tortured which led to both Jonathan and Patrick Dowdall being convicted.
Dowdall jr served just under six years in prison for the ordeal he inflicted on his victim after his original 12-year sentence was reduced to eight on appeal.
He had been a serving member of Dublin City Council at the time having been elected in May 2014 on a Sinn Fein ticket before resigning in February 2015.
He had previously complained he had been the target of disparaging rumours which he found very stressful before eventually giving up his seat.
The father of four who ran a successful business is originally from Dublin’s north inner-city.
Speaking to the Sunday World previously, the man who was subjected to water-boarding and threatened with having his fingers chopped off with a pliers described the Dowdalls’ release last April as “sickening.”
"How could anyone describe that as justice? They put me through hell that night so to see him go free after less than six years … it is sickening," he told the Sunday World at the time.
The man had gone to their home in January, 2015 about the purchase of motorbike, it was heard during the trial.
Three days later, Jonathan Dowdall invited the victim to his home for dinner, but instead he was pushed into the garage where his wrists, chest and legs were tied to the chair with cable ties.
The victim was accused of being a thief and of trying to steal a car from another person.
"I will never forget what they did to me that night. No one could ever forget an experience like that.”
"Sometimes it fades to the back of your mind as you try to rebuild your life, but it's not something you ever forget.”
“And it doesn't help that this wasn't a spur of the moment thing - this was premeditated and pre-planned.
"I was lured into a trap, and as far as I'm concerned his motive was clear.
"He told me he was a member of the IRA and that I was going to be chopped up and fed to the dogs."
"To be honest, no horror movie would be as bad.
"After they tied me to the chair, I was shown an array of weapons including a machete. The pliers came later.”
"There was also a bucket of water and a tea-towel and I was water-boarded. I had never heard of water-boarding before that night and I certainly didn't know what it involved.”
"But after experiencing it, I can tell you it is terrifying. I had a tea-towel placed over my face and a full bucket of water poured over it.”
"I couldn't breathe and with the amount of water that was used, I believed I was either going to suffocate or drown.
"Then I was placed on the floor in the dark lying down sideways facing the door.
"They told me there was no point in screaming or shouting because it was a soundproof room and no-one would hear me.
"Then his father came back in and sat down on a swivel chair.
"He produced a pliers and told me he was going to chop my fingers off bit by bit unless I told him what he wanted to hear."
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