Wednesday 19 December 2018

Crowd at Regency shooting 'hostile' to gardaí

The Regency Hotel
The Regency Hotel
Patrick Hutch Jnr
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

The first gardaí at the scene of the Regency Hotel gangland attack were met by a "hostile crowd" when they tried to find out what had happened and were "told where to go" by an injured man who had been shot in the stomach.

The Special Criminal Court heard gardaí were given "no information" when they spoke to the wounded man and the crowd outside the hotel was "quite irate".

The weapons allegedly used in the attack were shown to the court as exhibits in the trial of Patrick Hutch Jnr (inset), who is charged with murdering father-of-two David Byrne. Mr Hutch (25), from Champion's Avenue, in Dublin's north inner city, denies murder and possession of three assault rifles.

Byrne (33), from Crumlin, was shot dead by gunmen dressed as gardaí who stormed the hotel during a boxing weigh-in event, along with a man wearing a blonde woman's wig and another in a flat cap.

Prosecutors claim Mr Hutch was identified as the man dressed as a woman.

They do not allege he shot Mr Byrne, but that he participated in the February 5, 2016, raid and shared intent to commit the crimes.

Garda Sergeant Noel Nolan said he was called to the hotel at 2.35pm and met a large group of people outside.

Sgt Nolan said there were "mixed emotions - people were very agitated".

He tried to get names and noticed a man who had blood coming from his abdomen.

"I asked him what had occurred and we were told where to go and given no information," Sgt Nolan said.

He subsequently discovered who the injured man was - Sean McGovern.

Garda Finbarr Fleming said he made his way over to a large group of people outside who were "quite irate and upset" and he tried to find out what had happened.

He saw an individual had an injury to his lower abdomen and it was quite clear he had been shot. The group of people was "quite hostile" as he tried to obtain information.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis' post-mortem examination on the deceased was read out by Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting.

The report concluded Mr Byrne died from six gunshot wounds to his head, hand, abdomen and legs from a high- velocity weapon.

"The injuries sustained would have proved rapidly if not instantaneously fatal," the report stated.

Detective Garda Padraig Boyce said a Vauxhall Insignia was stopped in Co Meath on March 9, 2016.

Three AK47s were found partially concealed in the boot, along with three magazine clips. Detective Garda David O'Leary tested them and formed the opinion that bullet cases from the Regency had been discharged from the three guns. The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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