sensational claims | 

Regency jailhouse confessor claims he was staying in the hotel at time of David Byrne’s shooting

The Dublin man, who has a long criminal history, is believed to have said Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch was wrongly being blamed for the murder.

Raiders disguised as Garda armed with AK47 Assault Rifles enter the front door of THe Regency Hotel

David Byrne was shot to death in the Regency

Nicola Tallant and Niall DonaldSunday World

A prisoner who made a jailhouse confession claiming he shot David Byrne has also said he had been staying in the Regency Hotel as a homeless person.

This week, it emerged that an inmate had come forward to claim he was responsible for the murder of Kinahan associate David Byrne in the North Dublin Hotel in 2016.

The Dublin man, who has a long criminal history, is believed to have said Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch was wrongly being blamed for the murder.

In court, State witness Jonathan Dowdall has claimed that Gerry Hutch told him he was “one of the team” that murdered Byrne.

However, the prisoner is said to be claiming Dowdall’s evidence is incorrect and that Hutch was not one of the gunmen.

It is believed to have made the sensational claims during an interview with a senior official in Portlaoise Prison.

The Sunday World can reveal the inmate has also claimed that he had been housed in the Regency Hotel by the State at the time of the murder.

Before it was taken over by new management, the Regency Hotel was sometimes used by homeless services to house people sleeping rough on a short-term basis.

Despite the man’s confession, it is believed his admissions are being treated with scepticism by officials.

The Regency Hotel murder has been the subject of one of the most extensive criminal probes in the history of the State – with officers convinced they are fully aware of who the main players are.

During previous high-profile murder probes, it is not unknown for innocent people with mental health difficulties to come forward and confess to crimes they had nothing to do with.

However, the convict’s claim to have stayed in the north Dublin hotel are now likely to be a starting point for gardai as they investigate the jailhouse confession.

His confession will be thoroughly investigated by gardai who will, initially, try and establish the movements of the jailhouse confessor.

David Byrne was shot to death in the Regency

When the Regency Hotel murder trial returned to the Special Criminal Court after a break for Christmas on Wednesday, the jailhouse confession was referred to – without the details being heard in open court.

The court was told that the prosecution was making a document available to Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch’s defence team.

Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, informed the court that “a curious development” had arisen which resulted in the “generation of a document” that had been disclosed to the defence.

He said the document primarily concerned Mr Hutch. “That isn’t the cause of the delay but the matter has to be looked into,” he added.

The Sunday World understands that the document referred to in court is, in fact, a confession from a convicted criminal which was made to a prison governor.

However, the confession failed to derail the trial and, 24 hours later, the proceedings proceeded without any delay.

On Thursday, the court heard “no further steps” will be taken by parties in relation to the confession which had been disclosed to the defence.

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch’s defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC told the non-jury court today that “the curious matter will have to wait for another day to be resolved”.

Presiding judge Ms Justice Tara Burns said the court knew nothing about this curious matter.

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch (59), last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, denies the murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne (33) during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.

Mr Hutch’s two co-accused - Paul Murphy (61), of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin and Jason Bonney (52), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 have pleaded not guilty to participating in or contributing to the murder of Mr Byrne by providing access to motor vehicles on February 5, 2016.

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