The State has concluded its case against Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch, who is charged with the murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel, and his two co-accused who deny participating in the murder by providing access to vehicles.
After 13 weeks of evidence, it is expected that Mr Hutch’s co-accused Jason Bonney will call witnesses to give evidence on his behalf later this morning.
After the conclusion of the prosecution case on Tuesday, defence barrister Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Hutch, told presiding judge Ms Justice Tara Burns that the defence are not calling any evidence on his behalf nor will his client take the stand.
Defence counsel Bernard Condon SC, for Paul Murphy, said his legal team would not be calling evidence either but that he needed to make a submission about the jurisdiction of the court.
In the trial’s 50th day on Tuesday, Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, told the three-judge court that the prosecution case was now closed.
Gerard Hutch (59), last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, denies the murder of Mr 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.
Ex-Sinn Féin Councillor Jonathan Dowdall, who is a former co-accused of Mr Hutch and who facilitated Mr Byrne’s murder and turned State’s evidence, has said that Mr Hutch told him in a park several days after the Regency attack, in or around February 8, 2016, that he and another man had shot Mr Byrne at the hotel.
Mr Murphy’s light coloured Toyota Avensis taxi and a BMW X5 which the prosecution say was driven by Mr Bonney on the day are alleged to have been part of a convoy that parked up at St Vincent’s GAA club grounds before the shooting and then transported the assailants from the Regency Hotel shooting after a Ford transit van was abandoned.
It is the prosecution’s case that a silver Ford transit van containing six people left the Regency Hotel after the shooting, including three persons dressed in tactical garda clothing. The raiders then made good their escape by using a number of parked vehicles at St Vincent’s GAA club.
The court has already heard that the defence case for Mr Bonney will be that on February 5th, he never drove his SUV, which the prosecution say was used in the attack, south of Newbrook Avenue, Donaghmede, [north of the Regency Hotel] but his father did.
It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Bonney was driving a black BMW X5 on the day of the murder and had transported a man in a flat cap, who minutes earlier had raided the Regency Hotel, from St Vincent’s GAA grounds.
The State’s case is that the late dissident republican Kevin Murray was the man seen wearing a flat cap when Mr Byrne was killed and that he cooperated with the “tactical team” that raided the Regency Hotel on February 5th. Mr Murray died from motor neurone disease in 2017 before he could be brought to trial.
Mr Byrne, from Crumlin, was shot dead at the hotel in Whitehall, Dublin 9 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí in tactical clothing and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, stormed the building during the attack, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.
Julie McGlynn gave evidence in Mr Bonney’s defence on Tuesday and told defence counsel John Fitzgerald SC that she grew up on Newbrook Avenue in Donaghmede and that her mother was living in the house in February 2016.
The witness said she was in her mother’s house on the morning of February 5th 2016 as she was having a party there for her then 13-year-old son.
At 11am or a bit afterwards, the witness said there was a knock at the front door and Mr Willie Bonney, the accused’s father, who has since died, was looking for her mother.
Ms McGlynn said she gave Willie Bonney a cup of tea when there was another knock at the door and accused Jason Bonney was standing there. She said there was “just chit chat” before both men left her mother’s house around 11.30am.
The witness said she saw Jason Bonney later on that day after she picked her children up from the bus at 2.35pm, which is beside Donaghmede Shopping Centre. She arrived back at her mother’s house between 2.45pm and 2.50pm and couldn’t get into the driveway as there was a truck parked outside the house.
Ms McGlynn went across the road and asked “the lads” in the garden where Jason Bonney was as she had seen him driving the truck previously. They called Jason Bonney out and he apologised to the witness before moving the truck. Jason handed her son, who was in the car, “a tenner for his birthday”. She said the conversation with accused Jason Bonney “definitely” took place shortly before 3pm as she had collected the children from the bus.
The trial has heard that Mr Byrne was shot in the lobby of the hotel at around 2.32pm on February 5th. CCTV Footage has also been shown of six people on Charlemont Lane - including a man in a wig pulling a suitcase and a man with a flat cap carrying a bag- running along a lane towards various cars at St Vincent’s GAA club at 2:40pm.
Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, told the witness under cross-examination that there are two people who are very important to the story; William Bonney and his wife Greta Bonney.
Asked how Willie Bonney got to the house, the witness said she couldn’t answer that but that anytime she saw Willie he was in a car. She said she hadn’t seen his Lexus parked outside her mother’s house that morning or at the house across the road.
She said she first became aware of a suggestion of Jason Bonney’s alleged involvement in the attack when his mother Greta called to her mother’s house two to three weeks later, near the end of February.
Her mother called to say Greta Bonney was asking for Ms McGlynn to come to the house as there had been “a major argument” between Willie and Jason in her home about the SUV.
The witness was asked by her mother to come to the house and explain what had taken place on February 5th. She was told there was trouble, that the SUV had been taken away by the gardaí and it was indicated it was involved in the Regency.
The court has already heard that the defence case for Mr Bonney will be that on February 5, he never drove his SUV, which the prosecution say was used in the attack, south of Newbrook Avenue, Donaghmede, [north of the Regency Hotel] but his father did.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ms McGlynn said she had been told the Bonneys had a “vicious argument” about the SUV, but Mr Gillane put it to her there had been “no argument” because, according to her account, Jason Bonney knew his father had taken the jeep,
“I can’t say what other people are arguing about,” she replied.
She met him in a shopping centre at Christmas 2016 and he told her that there had been a “big argument”, that the family had fallen out and that his father had ruined his life. He told her the family had to move away over a threat and that was why she had not seen him around.
They went back to Mr Bonney’s house at Newbrook Avenue later that day and Mr Gillane asked her if Jason had said it was his father, who was in his 70s, who had been using the jeep at the Regency. “No, he didn’t go into it in detail. He just said Willie had used the jeep that day,” she replied.
During the lengthy discussion in the house, Ms McGlynn said the accused “did say if I was willing to talk to his solicitor about it”.
When it was put to her by counsel that she had “dynamite information”, that she had not talked to her solicitor until 2022 and that “maybe there was a bit of a loose end as Greta was still alive then”, Ms McGlynn said she didn’t know.
Asked if she acquired an interest in the accused’s house on Newbrook Road, she said a piece of land at the side of the house was up for sale but she never bought it. The accused, she said, told her it was more than likely she wouldn’t get planning because of “parking on that corner”.
“Was it the intention to gift you the plot,” asked the barrister. She said it was not.
She said nothing about the Regency had ever come up despite having been at Drumnigh Wood in Portmarnock about 30 to 40 times since 2021. She agreed that not a single syllable was uttered between them about the “pickle” Jason Bonney was in over the jeep.
Mr Gillane brought the witness through CCTV footage, where Jason Bonney is seen reversing a black BMW X5 jeep out of Drumnigh Wood in Portmarnock at 11.38am on February 5th. Another clip was shown to her where a BMW pulled up at “Eddies Fuels” at Hole in The Wall Road in Donaghmede at 11.41am that morning. The driver gets out of the car and is seen carrying a canister in his hand. Asked if she recognised Jason Bonney, Ms McGlynn said she could not say.
The barrister put it to the witness that she was not telling the truth. Counsel said Willie Bonney was having lunch with his daughter and son-in-law for over four hours on February 5th and never drove his son’s jeep on February 5th. Ms McGlynn said she knew nothing about this saying: “I’m telling you it is true, definitely true”.
The trial will continue on Wednesday before Ms Justice Burns sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone, when Mr Gillane will continue his cross-examination of the second defence witness called by Mr Bonney.