Regency murder accused has motor neuron disease, extradition hearing told

Lawyers claim diagnosis raises issues over his fitness to stand trial over David Byrne killing

Kevin Murray of Townsend Street, Strabane  is wanted in connection with the fatal gun attack at Dublin’s Regency Hotel on February 5th. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Kevin Murray of Townsend Street, Strabane is wanted in connection with the fatal gun attack at Dublin’s Regency Hotel on February 5th. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

A Co Tyrone man fighting extradition over his alleged role in a gangland murder at Dublin’s Regency Hotel has motor neuron disease, a court heard today.

Kevin Murray’s life-limiting condition was revealed as he mounted a renewed bid to be released on bail.

His lawyers insisted the diagnosis removes any risk in releasing him, and raises issues over his fitness to stand trial on charges connected to the killing of David Byrne earlier this year.

“He’s incapacitated, he’s unable to feed himself and he’s in a wheelchair,”Barrister Desmond Fahy said.

Mr Murray (46) was detained at his home in Townsend Street, Strabane in September under a European Arrest Warrant issued by authorities in the Irish Republic.

He is wanted in connection with the fatal gun attack at Dublin’s Regency Hotel on February 5th.

Byrne, a 34-year-old father of two from the Crumlin area, was shot dead when masked men dressed as Garda officers opened fire with automatic guns.

Murray is being sought over alleged offences of murder, possession of a firearm with intent, and possession of a firearm in suspicious circumstances.

Murray remains in custody but is undergoing treatment at a hospital in the city.

With an extradition proceedings set to be determined early in the New Year, Honour Judge Patricia Smyth heard arguments on whether the best care can be provided within the prison setting or at home.

l“If the flight risk is reduced to nil, if there’s no risk of commission of further offences, and no risk of interference with witnesses, the presumption in favour of bail prevails.”

The barrister also claimed Murray’s health is central to any deciding on the bid to subject him to criminal proceedings in the Republic.

“If this state feels it would be unjust and oppressive, given his current (condition) and he wouldn’t be fit to stand trial in this jurisdiction, it would be unjust and oppressive to extradite him to somewhere else to face trial,” Mr Fahy said.

Adjourning the bail application, Judge Smyth directed the relevant health trust to provide information on the issue of Murray being cared for in the community.