Saturday 10 December 2016

Regency Hotel murder: 'Killers spoke with Dublin accents - they weren't from abroad'

Published 09/02/2016 | 06:27

Gardaí backed by armed members of the Emergency Response Unit stop motorists at a checkpoint in Cork Street, Dublin, as part of the investigation. Photo: Arthur Carron
Gardaí backed by armed members of the Emergency Response Unit stop motorists at a checkpoint in Cork Street, Dublin, as part of the investigation. Photo: Arthur Carron

GARDAI believe virtually the entire hotel hit team were Irish nationals – and not hired from abroad – because they spoke with Dublin accents.

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A number of witnesses to the brutal slaying at the Regency Hotel on Friday said that the gang clearly came from the north inner city.

The gang of killers – who meticulously planned the attack and assassinated criminal David Byrne (34) – had extensive local knowledge to ensure they made a clean getaway.

Sources now know that the assault was a clear escalation of the tensions between the Christy Kinahan drug cartel and a north inner city crime gang in Dublin. This stepped up another level last night with the shooting of Eddie Hutch Snr – a brother of veteran criminal Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.

Senior detectives from across the capital met at a garda briefing at Ballymun Garda Station yesterday to discuss the shooting on Friday.

Initially, there had been speculation that the hotel hit gang were from abroad – but witnesses told the Herald they heard four members of the six-man gang speaking with Dublin accents.

“Certainly the man dressed as a woman had a Dublin accent, a strong accent at that,” one bystander told the Herald.

“And as they jumped into the van outside the hotel you could hear one of the masked men disguised as a garda shouting ‘get f**king out of here’ in a Dublin accent also.”

Another witness has also confirmed the strong accent.

“The gunmen had Dublin accents. It seemed like they knew who they were going for,” a witness said.

“They pointed the gun at my head and said ‘Get the f**k out of here’. They walked in and one of them let off a shot. I didn’t know where to go, I stood there still.”

Murder

It’s believed the north inner city gang involved in the attack was seeking revenge for the murder of criminal Gary Hutch in Marbella last September.

The criminal outfit has  extensive local knowledge of the north of the city – knowledge they used to their advantage to make a clean getaway.

However, the gang’s gun attack was flawed – and confusion appears to have set in.

The gunman who was dressed as a woman appeared to become confused regarding the location of the front entrance to the hotel. Witnesses said he approached a man to ask for directions to the function room for the weigh-in of the MGM boxing event. The gunman also shouted at another killer that he couldn’t find their target.

However, once the gang got into their getaway van to escape they knew exactly where they were going.

Exiting the hotel they sped through Gracepark Manor, and from there to Griffith Avenue.

They then drove into the large Charlemont Estate, off Griffith Avenue, in Marino, which is a cul-de-sac with several separate smaller roads within it.

The gang had planned to drive the silver-grey Ford Transit van into the one roadway within Charlemont with a pedestrian exit from it.

That short lane leads to the car park of the local St Vincent’s GAA Club.

Gardai believe it is likely another vehicle or vehicles were waiting – either in the car park or nearby – to ferry the killers away from the estate after they set the transit van on fire.

Herald

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