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talked to Joe Ex-SF councillor Jonathan Dowdall charged with Regency Hotel murder denied crime link on RTE's Liveline

In March 2016, he did a lengthy on air interview denying any involvement with criminality following a garda raid on his home.

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A former Sinn Fein councillor charged with the murder of gangster David Byrne previously went on Liveline to complain about being linked to criminality. 

Jonathan Dowdall was brought before the Special Criminal Court this morning where he was charged with a single count of the murder of David Byrne at the hotel on the Swords Road, Drumcondra, on February 5, 2016.

Dowdall (43), formerly of the Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, who was remanded in custody after the brief appearance, will appear before the court again on June 14.

However, it is not the first time Dowdall has made headlines.

In March 2016, he did a lengthy on air interview denying any involvement with criminality following a garda raid on his home.

He told RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy on Liveline that he was as surprised as anyone to see armed Garda units pulling up outside his home, adding that he managed to open the door “just in time to stop them bursting through”.

“I wasn’t cautioned or arrested at any point, and I’ve no idea what it was in relation to,” he said, after 10 to 15 armed gardaí searched his home on the Navan Road, near Cabra in West Dublin.

However, the former Dublin City Councillor did confirm officers had seized a luxury BMW and high speed motorbike, alongside documentation and other valuables.

Denying any connections to “criminality or any crime organisation”, Mr Dowdall said if he had had any link to crime, “it would have come out doing the election”.

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Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy

Although he lived in the west of the city, as he was originally from the north inner city he knew people who are related to Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, many of whom have no links to crime.

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The then 38-year-old said: “You know how the inner city works, everyone knows everyone… some of them I’m proud to know, and there’s plenty others I’ve never met.

“Just because someone has the name Hutch doesn’t mean anything… Patrick Hutch is the father and has been a good friend of mine since I was a child.

“It’s been in the media all along that this man has no involvement in crime.

“I know that man, that man is a friend of mine… and this [raid] is probably linked to that."

The former Sinn Féin councillor who claimed his wife had returned to the family home only to find a Garda sitting on the sofa watching telly with a machine gun beside him, also complained that the future of his electrical business was in doubt following the raid.

“There are at least nine electricians with mortgages who are probably going to lose their jobs now.

“I’m worried here… I’ve worked my arse off since I was 16 and now my whole life has been turned upside down.

“Like any business today, my company is always in overdraft. I borrow, which I’ve prove of, from the Credit Union down the road for the weeks I’m waiting for payment to come in… it’s not a cash business.

“I’ve been doing work for a particular company in the city centre and one of my staff members was greeted by a management figure [this morning] who put a paper in his face and asked ‘What’s all this about?!’

“I’m going to lose (this) company over this [raid].”

The father-of-four was first elected to Dublin City Council in 2014. Serving the North Inner City, he left Sinn Féin and public office less than a year later.

Sinn Féin’s then deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said at the time he had “no political affiliation to Sinn Féin”.

"The person concerned, Jonathan Dowdall, left [the party] some time ago," she said.

"In terms of that particular Garda operation – I don’t know why it was carried out. "

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David Byrne.

David Byrne.

David Byrne.

Jonathan Dowdall is the fourth person charged in relation to the murder of David Byrne, who was considered a close associate of the Kinahan cartel.

Last week three other men appeared before the Special Criminal Court charged in relation to the Regency Hotel murder investigation.

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