Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said she welcomes the guilty plea by former party councillor Jonathan Dowdall to facilitating the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel.
Giving her reaction this evening, Ms McDonald said: “I welcome Jonathan Dowdall’s admission of guilt for what was a heinous and disgusting crime.
“This comes after a lengthy garda investigation. I commend the gardaí for their work, and they have my ongoing and unwavering support in tackling the scourge of organised criminal gangs in my constituency.”
The former Sinn Féin councillor and his father today pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016 as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.
Last April, Jonathan Dowdall (44), with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, was charged at the non-jury court with the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the hotel, on February 5, 2016.
Dowdall was listed to go on trial for that alleged offence alongside other co-accused men – who are all charged in connection with the murder of Mr Byrne, who was 34, from Crumlin – at the three-judge Special Criminal Court next Monday, October 3.
Today at the non-jury court, Dowdall and his father, Patrick (65), also of Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, both pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of Mr Byrne, by making a room available at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, for a criminal organisation or its members on February 4, 2016.
Both men are on bail but Jonathan Dowdall was led away from the court by gardaí via a secure area and did not use the main public entrance.
Gerard Hutch (58), of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, is also charged with Mr Byrne's murder.
On September 29 last year, Mr Hutch was brought to the non-jury court under heavy security just hours after a Casa 235 military plane flew him directly from Madrid to Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnell.
Last April, the High Court issued a European Arrest Warrant following an application from the Director of Public Prosecutions for the arrest of Mr Hutch, who was wanted to face trial in Ireland.
Mr Byrne was shot dead at the hotel after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.
Mr Hutch was extradited from Spain after his final appeal against extradition to Ireland was rejected by a Spanish Appeals Court on September 14. He was being held in a Madrid prison.
He has been in custody since being arrested in a restaurant in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol on August 12 by the Guardia Civil. A search for him began last April after Ireland issued a European Arrest Warrant in connection with the attack on the Regency Hotel.
In fighting his extradition to Spain, Mr Hutch argued he was under threat in Ireland from criminal groups. The Spanish court rejected this argument, stating the Irish authorities are capable of keeping him safe.
His nephew, Patrick Hutch, walked free from the Special Criminal Court in 2019 after charges against him for the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel were dropped by the State. Patrick Hutch (28) of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to Mr Byrne's murder.
Two other men, Paul Murphy (59), of Cabra Road, Dublin 7, and Jason Bonney (50) of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin, are charged with supplying logistical support to a six-man team suspected of carrying out the murder on February 5, 2016.