Gunman in drag had to ask hotel porter for directions to weigh-in
Published 08/02/2016 | 02:30
The gunman in drag who fired the first shots in Friday's gangland slaying at the Regency Hotel got lost in the building moments before he opened fire, and had to ask staff for directions.
The man acted like a "feeble old woman", wearing a dirty blonde wig, knee-high boots, a black coat and scarf - as he entered the hotel linked arm-in-arm with another man.
The pair made their way into the building through one of its side entrances in an attempt to get into the room where the weigh-in for the MGM boxing event, where more than 100 people were in attendance including several members of the Christy Kinahan crime syndicate.
However, halfway down the corridor, they realised they did not know where they were.
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The two men, at this point carrying concealed handguns, then turned back and exited the building, with the man disguised as a woman appearing to make a phonecall for directions, before approaching one of the hotel's porters for help.
General Manager John Glynn told the Irish Independent that while the man was disguised as a harmless old woman - as seen in pictures published by the 'Sunday World' - he asked the porter for directions in a distinctively masculine voice.
"The guy dressed as a woman spoke with a male voice and after asking for directions they eventually went back down through the corridor and found their way," Mr Glynn said.
"Initially it appeared that this woman was pretending to be feeble, old and harmless.
"She was being linked arm-in-arm with what seemed to be her son and she looked as if she was coming for a bit of lunch.
"They went into the weigh-in room, and the guy dressed as a woman fired the first shot - he had a small little gun in his pocket.".
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It is believed that upon hearing the gunshot, the now slain criminal, David Byrne (34), ran towards the exit doors, but slipped in the reception area of the hotel upon catching sight of two other gunmen who came through the front door, dressed as gardaí and armed with AK-47s.
One woman who was staying at the hotel told the Irish Independent she was intending to leave the premises with her three-year-old son when she heard a loud bang, but thinking nothing of it, she made her way downstairs on the lift.
The woman then heard screaming and spotted the men carrying the AK-47s and made a dash back to her hotel room with her son.
"I saw the guns and they were being pointed at everyone. My son said to me 'mam, what's that, but I just grabbed him and went back to my room," said the woman.
"When I was able to walk out eventually, all I could see was blood everywhere, it was horrible to look at," she added.
The hotel's main reception area was still cordoned off yesterday - with garda forensic teams on site.
Management is offering support services to all staff.