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HUTCHDOWN Moment Gerry Hutch lands back on Irish soil in military plane to face murder charge

Last night he appeared in court charged in relation to the gangland murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel over five years ago.

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The Air Corps CASA aircraft carrying Gerry Hutch from Spain touches down at Casement Aerodrome

The Air Corps CASA aircraft carrying Gerry Hutch from Spain touches down at Casement Aerodrome

The Air Corps CASA aircraft carrying Gerry Hutch from Spain touches down at Casement Aerodrome

THIS was the moment that feared gang boss Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch landed back in Ireland to face trial over the Regency Hotel shooting.

The military aircraft carrying Hutch touched down at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel last night where he was arrested before being transported to the Special Criminal Court in Dublin under armed escort.

‘The Monk’ (58) had been hiding out in the Fuengirola area of southern Spain since a European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in April over the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.

Last night he appeared in court charged in relation to the gangland murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel over five years ago.

During the brief hearing, a trial date of October 3 next year was fixed while Gerard Hutch's defence counsel said they were reserving their position on the lawfulness of his arrest and the jurisdiction of the court.

The 58-year-old was brought before the Special Criminal Court this evening amid a major security operation following his extradition from Spain.

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A plane carrying Gerry Hutch lands at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel (Niall Carson/PA)

A plane carrying Gerry Hutch lands at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel (Niall Carson/PA)

A plane carrying Gerry Hutch lands at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel (Niall Carson/PA)

There was a significant uniformed and plain clothed garda presence inside the precinct of the courts complex as Gerard Hutch was transferred to the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) on Parkgate Street.

An armed convoy including members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) were involved in transporting him to court.

Shortly after 8pm he was brought before the three judges and formally charged with the murder of David Byrne (33) at the Regency Hotel in Whitehall, north Dublin, on February 5, 2016.

The Kinahan associate was shot dead during a boxing weigh-in after it was stormed by an armed gang dressed as fake gardaí and a man in drag.

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Wearing a black face mask, beige suit jacket, white shirt, mustard bottoms and dark boots, Gerard Hutch only spoke briefly when he said "yes" to confirm his name.

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Gerry Hutch arriving at the CCJ. Photo: Mark Condren

Gerry Hutch arriving at the CCJ. Photo: Mark Condren

Gerry Hutch arriving at the CCJ. Photo: Mark Condren

He was escorted from the precincts of the court by a number of plain clothed gardaí.

Det Supt Paul Scott, of Ballymun garda station, said he arrested the accused at Baldonell Aerodrome at 7.12pm on foot of the arrest warrant.

The senior garda also said he informed Gerard Hutch that the DPP had certified that the ordinary courts were inadequate for the administration of justice and perseveration of peace, and he should be trialed before the non-jury court.

Det Supt Scott told State solicitor Ciara Vibien that he also informed Gerard Hutch of this in the precincts of the court.

A book of evidence and USB key were then served on the accused. Mr Justice Tony Hunt also fixed a trial date for October 3, 2022 when four other accused are due to go on trial.

Defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC said they were reserving their position on the lawfulness of his client's arrest and the jurisdiction of the non-jury court.

Mr Grehan also said they were taking instructions in relation to a bail application which would require "serious consideration."

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Members of An Garda Síochána outside Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, yesterday

Members of An Garda Síochána outside Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, yesterday

Members of An Garda Síochána outside Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, yesterday

He added that there may be an application for a separate trial date or other pre-trial applications.

The court was told that Gerard Hutch has also been vaccinated and tested negative for Covid-19 yesterday, which Mr Grehan said was being mentioned to ensure he has access to his legal team.

Mr Justice Hunt, presiding with Judge Sarah Berkley and Judge David McHugh, remanded him in custody to appear before the court again on Friday, October 15.

Following his court appearance, Gerard Hutch was taken away in an armed convoy into custody.

He had spent over a month being held in a Madrid prison as he attempted to fight his extradition back to Ireland on the grounds that he was a taxpaying Spanish resident whose life was under threat.

'The Monk' had been arrested in the Fuengirola area of southern Spain last month where he was hiding since the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was issued for him by the High Court in April.

His nephew Patrick Hutch Jr (28) was previously charged with the murder of David Byrne and trialed before the Special Criminal Court.

It was the State's case that he was the gunman in drag involved in the gun attack, but the charges were later dropped.

Gerard Hutch is currently the fifth person charged in relation to the Regency Hotel shooting investigation.

Former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall (44) appeared before the non-jury court last April charged with the murder of David Byrne.

Three other men - including Dowdall's father- were brought before the court earlier that month in relation to the investigation.

Patrick Dowdall (64), of the Navan Road, Dublin 7, Jason Bonney (50) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 15, and Paul Murphy (59) of Cherry Avenue in Swords are each accused of a single offence contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 as substituted by section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act, 2009.

Patrick Dowdall is alleged to have had knowledge of a criminal gang and helping it carry out the murder of David Byrne by making a room available at the Regency Hotel to its members on February 4, 2016.

Jason Bonney and Paul Murphy are accused of assisting the criminal gang in the murder by each making a motor vehicle available to its members on the day of the murder.

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