Dowdall criticises SF leader for not attending ‘Neddy’ Hutch’s funeral, Regency Hotel trial hears

Trial hears second day of conversations between Dowdall and Hutch, captured by Garda bugging device

Former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall criticised party leader Mary Lou McDonald for not attending the funeral of murdered man Edward ‘Neddy’ Hutch and told the deceased man’s brother, Regency Hotel murder accused Gerard Hutch: “But yas were good enough to use Gerard for votes, yas were good enough to use for money,” the Special Criminal Court has heard.

In conversations captured by a Garda bugging device when Dowdall and Mr Hutch allegedly travelled to the North to meet republicans, Dowdall also said Ms McDonald should have stated it was untrue that “Gerard Hutch, so called Monk, is involved in drugs”.

Mr Hutch replied that “they try to keep away from dodgy subjects at a dodgy time. They were in enough s**t with the f*****g Special Criminal Court and Slab Murphy.”

The trial has heard the men continued to discuss a wide variety of topics, from the death of Supreme Court judge Adrian Hardiman, whom Mr Hutch deemed a “very good judge”, to journalist Paul Williams, whose writing on a purported meeting between Mr Hutch and others in Holland was described as “b******s”.


Earlier, the trial heard a recording of Dowdall tell Mr Hutch that the accused’s “best move” was the “particular yokes used”, in what the prosecution alleges is a reference to the three AK-47 assault rifles used by the gunmen who murdered Kinahan cartel member David Byrne.

In the recording, Dowdall told Mr Hutch: “I don’t know if you thought of it, Gerard, at the time I certainly didn’t, but the best thing that happened was the particular yokes that was used. That in itself made some f*****g statement.”

Mr Hutch replied: “Ah, massive statement.” He later says that “anyone with cop-on would know immediately that cops don’t use them”.

The accused told Dowdall that it’s “very hard to get involved where the Kinahans are concerned, ‘cause it doesn’t work, the messenger gets it”; and that he was “not gonna show a weak hand and go looking for peace”.

In the recording, the court heard Mr Hutch say there had to be “f*****g mediation, for Jaysus sake” and that the Kinahans were “after getting a good wallop and a good bang there”.

In another clip, Dowdall refers to “all the bleeding killings” and “dealing with the bleedin’ little w*****s that are up and coming”.

“There’s other ways of punishin’ people. Don’t be using a gun all the time. The heartbreak that’s left behind when a f*****g person’s dead,” said the accused. Mr Hutch added, “We don’t want any innocent c***t shot” and that “it’s terrible to do that”.

Later, Mr Hutch said: “Like the gist of it is they’ve sent a message up there, they don’t want anything happening the f*****g Hutches.”

Dowdall said: “The whole leadership are meeting them. And they sent it through that they’d know that it is coming from the Northern Command, that it’s coming from the leadership. So they want to meet the Kinahans.”

After what the prosecution alleges were meetings between Mr Hutch and Dowdall and the republicans had concluded, the accused told Dowdall: “Do you not realise you were talking to the three wise men, the three chiefs” and that “basically in a nutshell they’re saying they sent somebody to the Kinahan gang”.

Mr Hutch told Dowdall “so then what do the Kinahans say, so what do we do, sit down and let them murder us?”

Mr Hutch said a ceasefire would “suit Kinahan” and for the sake of everyone involved “it’s the best option or go to war”.

“I’ve talked to one or two of me mates, close mates, and they’re saying everyone is advising on f*****g ceasefire,” the accused said.

Calling Kinahan “weak at the moment”, Dowdall said “the world is turning against him, Gerard, it’s only a matter of time”.

Referring to Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, Dowdall said she should have attended Eddie ‘Neddy’ Hutch’s funeral and that she stayed away from it on purpose. “She didn’t attend the innocent man’s funeral. She was on the telly the night Neddy got shot and she branded everyone as scumbags, she said they’re all scumbags,” he said.

“She shoulda turned around and said, I know that deceased man and I know that family,” he said.

Mr Hutch says there wasn’t “one of them at” the funeral and agrees that only Christy Burke was there.

Eddie ‘Neddy’ Hutch was shot dead at his north inner city home on February 8th, 2016, in what was believed to be a revenge attack for the Regency Hotel shooting three days earlier.

Dowdall told Mr Hutch to be careful with Kinahan being home. “I don’t know, a million quid, is that what they said is on ya now?” Mr Hutch said: “Yeah, that’s what was said in the paper.”

Mr Hutch laughed, saying: “The million dollar man.”

For a second day at the non-jury court on Wednesday, the audio recording was played of a conversation between Mr Hutch and Dowdall while they were allegedly travelling north to a meeting in Strabane in Co Tyrone on March 7th, 2016 in Dowdall’s Toyota Land Cruiser jeep, which had been bugged by Garda detectives.

Transcripts of the recordings, which are being relied on by the prosecution, are being displayed on several screens in the courtroom and have been described as “part of the core” of the State’s case in the trial of Mr Hutch (59), last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, who denies the murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne (33) during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on February 5th, 2016.

Last week, the three judges ruled that they would listen to the 10 hours of conversations between Mr Hutch and Dowdall that were captured by gardaí, despite having heard that Dowdall’s bugged jeep had been outside of the State during the majority of the recordings.

Mr Hutch’s defence lawyer, Brendan Grehan SC, has submitted that their “core argument” will be that gardaí were aware that Dowdall’s jeep was outside the jurisdiction for eight of the 10 hours of those recordings from March 7th, 2016, and that the evidence harvested from that “illicit fruit” should be excluded from the trial.

The non-jury court will hear the audio recordings which began at 2.20pm on Monday, March 7th, 2016, leading into the early hours of Tuesday, March 8th. After this the court will hear full legal argument from counsel on both sides as part of a “voir dire” – a “trial within a trial” – before the three judges rule on the admissibility of its contents having regard to the extraterritoriality issue.

The Special Criminal Court has viewed CCTV footage of what the State says is Mr Hutch making two separate journeys to Northern Ireland with Dowdall on February 20th and March 7th, 2016, just weeks after Mr Byrne was murdered.

The State’s case is that Mr Hutch had asked Jonathan Dowdall to arrange a meeting with his provisional republican contacts to mediate or resolve the Hutch-Kinahan feud due to the threats against the accused’s family and friends.

Jonathan Dowdall (44) – a married father of four with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 – was due to stand trial for Mr Byrne’s murder alongside Gerard Hutch but pleaded guilty in advance of the trial to a lesser charge of facilitating the Hutch gang by making a hotel room available ahead of the murder.

Dowdall has been jailed by the Special Criminal Court for four years for facilitating the Hutch gang in the notorious murder of Kinahan Cartel member David Byrne. The former Dublin councillor is currently being assessed for the witness protection programme after agreeing to testify against former co-accused Gerard Hutch, who is charged with Mr Byrne’s murder.

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. The victim was shot by two of the tactical assailants and further rounds were delivered to his head and body.

Mr Hutch’s two co-accused – Paul Murphy (59), of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin and Jason Bonney (50), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 – have pleaded not guilty to participating in or contributing to the murder of David Byrne by providing access to motor vehicles on February 5th, 2016.

The trial continues on Thursday before Ms Justice Tara Burns sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Gráinne Malone.