DEFENCE WITNESS | 

Regency co-accused Jason Bonney seen ‘working on house’ 15 mins after shooting, neighbour claims

Mr Bonney (52) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock and Paul Murphy (61) of Cherry Avenue, Swords, deny providing cars for the attack team.

Jason Bonney

Andrew PhelanSunday World

Regency trial co-accused Jason Bonney was seen working at a house renovation around 15 minutes after the gangland murder, a neighbour has told the Special Criminal Court.

The woman also said she saw the jeep allegedly used by Mr Bonney to help the Regency Hotel attackers being driven away from the same house by his father earlier that morning.

The witness, Julie McGlynn was testifying for Mr Bonney’s defence after the prosecution closed its case on the trial’s 50th day this morning.

Mr Bonney's defence is claiming alibi evidence shows he could not have been in the area at the time he allegedly facilitated the shooting of David Byrne at the Regency in Whitehall, Dublin.

The builder is on trial alongside another man on the same charge, and murder accused Gerard Hutch.

Mr Bonney’s BMWX5 jeep and Paul Murphy’s Toyota Avensis taxi are both alleged to have been part of a convoy that parked up at GAA grounds near the Regency Hotel before the attack and transported the assassination team away afterwards.

Mr Hutch (59), of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Kinahan gang member David Byrne (32) on February 5, 2016.

He was killed when five raiders, three disguised as ERU gardai with assault rifles stormed the Regency in north Dublin.

The attack at a boxing weigh-in fuelled the Kinahan-Hutch gang feud.

Mr Bonney (52) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock and Paul Murphy (61) of Cherry Avenue, Swords, deny providing cars for the attack team.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Jason Bonney (left), 50, and Paul Murphy, 59, alongside co-accused Gerry "The Monk" Hutch (right) during a trial at the Special Criminal Court, Dublin© PA

Former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall had been charged with murder but instead pleaded guilty to facilitation, by helping to book a room at the Regency that was used by the raiders.

Today, the court heard Mr Hutch was not going into evidence or calling any witnesses.

Testifying for Mr Bonney's defence, Julie McGlynn said she was at her mother’s home at Newbrook Avenue, Donaghmede on the morning of February 5, making preparations for her son’s 13th birthday party.

She said her mother went out to Mass and as she waited for her to return there was a knock on the door and it was Jason Bonney’s father Willie Bonney.

He told her he was looking for her mother who was still not back and he then asked could he use the toilet as the facilities at the house across the road were being pulled out for renovations.

The court has heard Jason Bonney had been working on the house at the time.

This was just after 11am and she let William Bonney in, Ms McGlynn said.

She said she offered William Bonney a cup of tea and while he was still there, there was another knock on the door and it was his son, Jason Bonney.

There was some “chit chat” and they left the house at about 11.30am. She walked after them.

“Jason went across to the house, Willie got into the jeep and drove off,” she said.

John Fitzgerald SC, for Mr Bonney, gave her a photo of the jeep in question and asked if she recognised it.

“It looks like that jeep but I couldn’t tell you the registration,” she said, adding that she knew it as her sister had the same type of jeep.

Ms McGlynn later went to collect her children from school at around 2.35 or 2.40pm and when she returned, it was between 2.45pm and 2.50pm.

The court has previously heard David Byrne was shot dead in the Regency in Whitehall at 2.32pm

The witness said she could not get into her driveway because of vans and trucks parked outside the house being renovated. She had seen Jason driving a blue open-backed truck with railings on the side previously and asked “the lads” in the garden where he was.

They called Jason out and he moved the truck, she said. He apologised, she gave out to him and he handed her son “a tenner for his birthday.”

“I think that was to shut me up because I was giving out so much,” she said.

In cross-examination, prosecutor Sean Gillane SC said two “very important people” in the story she was telling were Jason Bonney’s parents William and Greta,

Her story was never formalised or brought to anyone’s attention “until such time as those people unfortunately passed away,” he said.

She agreed she had told Mr Bonney’s solicitors when they contacted her last year.

Ms McGlynn said she did not know how William Bonney, who lived elsewhere in Donaghmede, got to her house on the day.

She told Mr Gillane he had told her while he was in her house that he was waiting for Jason “to come back to him with the jeep.”

Mr Gillane said every time she mentioned the jeep it was “Willie’s jeep” but it was actually Jason’s. Ms McGlynn said she had seen Willie Bonney driving the jeep more than his son.

Mr Gillane asked her what other occasions she had seen William Bonney driving the jeep and she said it was “going down to the complex” and the Donaghmede Inn.

Mr Gillane said the distinct impression she gave in her statement was that William was coming to get his jeep back from Jason, because Jason had kept it.

This was what William had said, she told the court.

She did not know if there was a falling out between the father and son at the time, but there was afterwards, she said.

“That morning didn’t mean anything to me at the time, that is a normal morning, anyone could come and knock at the door,” she said.

Ms McGlynn said she was not sure when she found out about the Regency shooting and had no television in her house, only the internet.

She agreed she “more than likely” found out very soon after. She did not hear of any alleged involvement by Jason Bonney's jeep until his mother Greta called to her mother’s house two to three weeks later, near the end of February.

Her mother called to say Greta Bonney was asking for Ms McGlynn to come to the house as there had been an argument between Willie and Jason about the jeep, she said.

She was asked to come and explain what had happened at her house on February 5. She was told the jeep was “after being taken by the gardai” and it was indicated that it was involved in the Regency.

The trial continues.


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