Investigation into Regency Hotel attack gathers pace

Five people suspected of role in killing of David Byrne arrested in a week with one now charged

The Garda investigation into the murder of gangland figure David Byrne is continuing to gain pace with the arrest of two more suspects in the case.

The Garda investigation into the murder of gangland figure David Byrne is continuing to gain pace with the arrest of two more suspects in the case.

 

The Garda investigation into the murder of gangland figure David Byrne has gathered pace with the arrest of five suspects inside a week.

One of those arrested, Patrick Hutch (24), appeared in court on Wednesday night charged with murdering Byrne, who died in February after an attack at the Regency Hotel in Dublin.

Earlier on Wednesday, gardaí said they arrested a man in his 50s in connection with the murder. He is being questioned at Raheny Garda station.

This arrest followed the detention of a Dublin-based father and son on Tuesday which in turn came after the arrest of Hutch and another man last week.

The two men arrested on Tuesday are not suspected of direct involvement in the murder of 33-year-old Byrne from Crumlin, who was a member of the Kinahan drugs gang.

However, gardaí have been conducting an intensive investigation into where the firearms used in the Byrne killing, especially at least three AK-47s, were sourced. The arrests of the father and son on Tuesday are linked to that strand of the inquiry.

The younger of the pair has been under surveillance for a number of weeks. He has been spoken to by the Garda before now and denied any involvement in the murder or of aiding it when he was spoken to informally by members of the investigating team. His home and other premises linked to him have already been searched.

And while a number of firearms gardaí believe were used by the gang that killed Byrne have been found in recent months, no firearms were found when the searches of the properties linked to the younger man were searched.

He is in his 30s and his father is in his 50s. They were detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be detained for up to seven days without charge. The men are being questioned at Clontarf and Swords Garda stations in north Dublin.

To date, six people have been shot dead as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud; one in Spain last year and five in Ireland since the beginning of this year.

Last September, the Irish crime gang led from Spain by Christy Kinahan shot dead Gary Hutch in Spain after accusing him of supplying information to the police.

Gunmen

Then, when gunmen stormed into a boxing tournament weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin on February 5th and shot dead Kinahan gang member Byrne and wounded two others, Gary Hutch’s associates emerged as the suspects.

Byrne’s associates hit back three days later, shooting dead Gary Hutch’s uncle Eddie Hutch at his home on Poplar Row. He was murdered not because of any involvement in gang crime, but simply because he was related to Gary Hutch.

Since then another three men have been murdered, one in Meath and two in Dublin, as part of what has become known as the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

In the case of Mr Byrne’s murder at the hotel, members of the media were outside the weigh-in to photograph known criminals expected to be present. They captured images of the gunmen, at least three of whom were armed with AK-47 assault rifles. One of the other gunmen was dressed as a woman, and another wore a flat cap.

The man dressed in women’s clothes was close to Gary Hutch and it is he who was arrested after a car he was travelling in was pursued through north Dublin last Friday night. He was detained under section 50 of the Offences Againstthe State Act and taken for questioning to Ballymun Garda station and is still being questioned on Wednesday.

The car he was travelling in was stopped on the Malahide Road close to the M50 after a chase.

Separately, two men arrested last week in connection with Eddie Hutch’s murder were questioned at Dublin’s Bridewell and Mountjoy Garda stations last week but have since been released. It means a total of six people have now been detained – two in relation to the Eddie Hutch murder and four in relation to the Byrne murder.