Former Sinn Féin councillor charged with Regency Hotel murder

Jonathan Dowdall (43) in court in connection with killing of David Byrne in 2016

Former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall is charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Whitehall, north Dublin, on February 5th, 2016.

Former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall is charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Whitehall, north Dublin, on February 5th, 2016.

 

A former Sinn Féin councillor has been charged at the Special Criminal Court with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.

Mr Byrne was shot dead at the hotel on the Swords Road in Dublin, in February 2016 after five men entered the building, three of them disguised as armed gardaí.

Jonathan Dowdall (43), a former north inner city councillor with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, appeared at the brief hearing on Tuesday morning when the registrar read the single charge to him.

Mr Dowdall is charged with the murder of David Byrne, contrary to common law, at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on February 5th, 2016.

Mr Dowdall appeared in the court after meeting with detectives in the body of the court this morning where he was charged with the non-scheduled offence of murder.

State solicitor Ms Ciara Vibien told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Claire Loftus, had instructed that Mr Dowdall be tried at the Special Criminal Court.

Ms Vibien said that a body warrant had been issued by the Special Criminal Court for Mr Dowdall on Friday and that his appearance on Tuesday was on foot of that warrant.

Cases are directed to the non-jury Special Criminal Court if the DPP believes the ordinary courts are inadequate to secure the administration of justice and the preservation of public peace.

Detective Garda Paul Darley of Ballymun station gave evidence to the court that he had met Mr Dowdall at 10.35am on Tuesday, when he handed Mr Dowdall a true copy of the charge.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt, sitting with Ms Justice Sarah Berkeley and Mr Justice David McHugh, remanded Mr Dowdall in custody to June 14th for service of the Book of Evidence.

Mr Dowdall is represented by solicitor Jenny McGeever.

Wearing a silver jacket, Mr Dowdall stood when the charge was read to him but did not speak during the hearing.

Mr Dowdall’s father, Patrick Dowdall, is already before the court alongside two co-accused charged with involvement in the murder.

Patrick Dowdall (64) with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, is accused of participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by making a room available at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 for that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 4th, 2016.

Co-accused Paul Murphy (59), also with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, is charged with supplying logistical support to a six-man team suspected of carrying out the murder on February 5th, 2016.

He is charged with participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by providing access to individual motor vehicles to that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 5th, 2016.

Finally, Jason Bonney (50), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13, is charged with participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by providing access to individual motor vehicles to that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 5th, 2016.

All four cases are due to appear before the three-judge court on June 14th for service of the Books of Evidence.