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Former colleagues Ex Lord Mayor Christy Burke 'surprised' at Jonathan Dowdall's Regency Hotel murder charge

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FORMER Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke said he was surprised when he heard the news that a former city-council colleague Jonathan Dowdall has been charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel.

Cllr Burke had been mayor when the ex-Sinn Fein man was elected in the north inner city in the same constituency as him.

“Of course I'm surprised," he told the Sunday World.

“I'm surprised as many people in the area have been talking on the day they were surprised and taken aback.”

He pointed out Dowdall was one of 63 councillors he knew at the time.

Cllr Burke previously criticised attempts to link him politically with Dowdall who is currently in Wheatfield Prison on an unrelated matter.

In 2017 he blasted Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald for posting a screenshot of him in a two-year-old Facebook post with Dowdall in which Cllr Burke described him as one of his canvassers.

“This is a new low by a public representative in my constituency and I have been a public representative for 30 odd years,” he said at the time.

He explained then that Dowdall had attended a pre-election meeting but never took part in his campaign

Cllr Burke told the Sunday World today: "He was a representative in the north city in an area also where I was a representative.”

“Of course I tried to get to grips with all 63 of the new councillors trying to remember names when you were calling them out to speak on different matters as the year went on.”

“I knew him and I knew the other 62 also.”

This week Dowdall appeared at the Special Criminal Court where he was charged with the 2016 murder.

His father Patrick Dowdall is also facing charges over the murder, accused of making a room in the Regency Hotel available to a criminal organisation.

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Two other men are facing charges of aiding a criminal organisation as a result of the killing.

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Christy Burke. Photo: Arthur Carron

Christy Burke. Photo: Arthur Carron

Christy Burke. Photo: Arthur Carron

Cllr Burke added that people in the Dublin’s north inner city are now more worried about dealing with the pandemic than the gangland feud which has claimed 18 lives.

“There's nobody I've met that saying ‘God we're living in fear again’ or it's going to start again or what's going to happen next.”

“People are caught up in the pandemic and what's next rather than with what's going on in the crime world.”

“I'm not experiencing any calls, I'm not getting constituents in the area who're talking about living in fear or that it's going to kick off. I haven't encountered that.”

“Everyone hopes lives are not lost, everyone hopes crime doesn't go through the roof in any area on any side.”

“Certainly there's nobody caught up in living in the fear of something's going to happen.”


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