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covert recordings Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch was bugged by gardai following Regency Hotel attack

High tech surveillance equipment was used to record and trace the car as it took Hutch over the border.

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A European Arrest Warrant has been issued for Gerry Hutch

A European Arrest Warrant has been issued for Gerry Hutch

A European Arrest Warrant has been issued for Gerry Hutch

A heart-to-heart conversation that Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch had with a pal as gardai bugged their car will lie at the centre of the State's case against him.

The conversation took place in the weeks after The Regency Hotel shooting as officers suspected 'The Monk' was desperately trying to return guns used in the attack to Northern Ireland.

High tech surveillance equipment was used to record and trace the car as it took Hutch over the border to Newry where he met with a number of individuals and back to the Republic.

Hutch official became a fugitive this week as a European Arrest Warrant was issued for him and three men appeared before the Special Criminal Court on charges related to events on February 5th, 2016 when David Byrne was murdered.

Patrick Dowdall, 64, Paul Murphy, 59 and Jason Bonney, 50 each face a single charge of having knowledge of a criminal organisation and helping a crime gang commit the murder of Byrne.

Bonney and Murphy are charged with an offence relating to the supplying of individual motor vehicles to the criminal gang while Dowdall is accused of facilitating the gang by making a room available at the hotel to members of the crime outfit before the murder.

Sunday World understands that following the so-called 'spectacular' in the Regency Hotel the Special Detective Unit were charged with investigating any involvement by Hutch in the planning of the attack.

The SDU are responsible for monitoring terrorist activity but given the threat to the security of the State by the use of those linked to paramilitary groups and their weapons, the Hutch faction were deemed for priority policing while the dismantling of the Kinahan mafia was considered a more long term operation.

It is understood that Hutch may have admitted his own role in planning the assault and murder during the recorded chat and making him the number one target of Gardai investigating the Regency.

Hutch was in semi-retirement when Gardai say he planned the Regency and gambled that his spectacular would send a message that he was a powerful force in organised crime with the backing of the IRA.

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Instead, mistake after mistake backfired and when he accepted a lift to Newry in March 2016 weeks before the AK47s used in the Regency attack were seized he let down his guard.

Grieving for his brother Eddie, murdered days after the Regency in retaliation for the failed hit attempt, he let down his guard and chatted about the operation.

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Eddie Hutch

Eddie Hutch

Eddie Hutch

He was being watched and listened to as he was driven to Newry where sources say he held a pre-arranged meeting with people linked to the New IRA as part of the plan to get the magazines and rifles out of the Republic and back to the North.

Weeks after, the veteran criminal was driving across the border and back to Dublin, a major surveillance operation was launched on a Donegal paramilitary Shane Rowan.

He had arranged to pick up the weapons in Dublin.

On the same day that Liam Byrne’s home was raided by CAB officers, he arrived at Coolock and collected the weapons.

When he was later stopped by members of the Emergency Response Unit in Slane in County Meath they found three AK47s in the car.

The army were later brought into a warehouse in Coolock where they conducted further searches.

Rowan was later charged and convicted in front of the Special Criminal Court with possession of the assault rifles and with membership of an illegal organisation.

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