A MAN dressed in a long blonde wig and a grey dress was part of the four-man killing squad that went on a terrifying shooting spree in a Dublin hotel yesterday.
One man died and another two were seriously injured following the shooting which occurred in the Regency hotel.
A murder investigation is now underway following the shocking incident which unfolded at approximately 2.30pm yesterday afternoon.
The killing squad consisted of three men dressed as members of the garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and a man dressed as a woman.
Two of the gunmen who were dressed in the fake garda uniforms entered the hotel through the front entrance. A third man who was also dressed in the fake uniform stayed outside the hotel and was seen firing at least one shot.
A witness has told Independent.ie that he saw the third gunman talk to a man dressed in a blonde wig and grey dress during the shooting. It's not clear if he was armed.
The man who was dressed in woman's clothing emerged from the rear of the hotel and was heard shouting: "He's not f*****g here. I can't find him."
The third gunman roared back: "Let's get f*****g out of here."
After that the two men who entered the hotel's front reception came running out. All four of them got into a silver transit van and fled from the scene.
The victim has been named locally as David Byrne (34) from Raleigh Square in Crumlin.
He was a first cousin of gangland figure 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.
Byrne was one of the city’s most notorious drug dealers and was a key member of the Christy Kinahan cartel for many years.
The Dublin-based gangster was suspected of involvement in the importation of large shipments of drugs.
He was also believed to have been involved in the attempt to smuggle rocket launchers in the country.
Chief Superintendent Barry O’Brien from Ballymun said that they were looking for four assailants, two of whom ewer described as wearing “SWAT type police uniforms with metal helmets, the likes of which you would see in a crime drama.”
A standard type car was found burnt out in a housing estate in Drumcondra short time later and Gardai are appealing for witnesses.
Dozens of young children, women and men dived for cover after two men burst into a hotel lobby firing shots at will.
Outside the hotel, a third gunman was seen roaming the area firing another shot while he warned an innocent man - who happened to be walking nearby carrying shopping - to "get out of the f****** way".
One witness told independent.ie the gunmen had 'GARDA ERU' in yellow letters on the back of bullet proof vests.
Their faces were completely covered but they spoke with "strong Dublin accents".
The gunmen escaped the scene in a van which was found burnt out in the Charlemont Estate shortly after the incident.
The four men are understood to have then escaped on foot through St Vincent's GAA club towards Killester.
Gardai arrived at the hotel minutes later - a witness described the scene as "absolute pandemonium".
One man died at the scene, while another two were rushed to hospital. One of the injured was shot in the leg, while the second was shot in the stomach.
Women and children were crying in shock after the incident.
The victims were all aged in their twenties and thirties.
Shortly before the shooting, an official weigh-in for white-collar boxing event 'Clash of the Clans' took place. The event was being promoted by MGM.
Mel Christle president of Boxing Union of Ireland
“Thankfully the weigh in had finished when gunfire began. There were several shots fired, but not over a dozen.
“I saw two individuals – one dressed as a woman but it was a man dressed as a woman– running away from the scene.
“Two other people at the back and apparently they were dressed as gardai and they were shooting.
“Everyone including quite young children – aged as young as 5 years old – and their relatives were there.
“What was actually more frightening was the gunfire outside the building . There was a full scale exchange of gunfire outside the room.
“I ran out through the fire escape but you could hear the gun shots ringing outside the hotel.
“The first shots were inside the room but the reset Outside at reception
“I was on the bandstand with the weighing scales – you were higher than the audience – who were mostly seated. There was around 200 people there.
“The majority of them lay on the ground when the shooting began.
The headline bout on tomorrow night's card is Jamie Kavanagh versus Joao Bento for the vacant WBO European Lightweight Title.
On their Facebook page, the promoters MGM had advertised an official weigh-in for 'Clash of the Clans' Show at the Regency, which was due to begin at 2pm this afternoon.
MGM is a new Professional Boxing Gym in the heart of Puerto Banus, Spain.
There was a large garda presence at the scene yesterday as gardai began investigating the incident.
The scene was sealed off and a technical examination of the area was expected to take place.
Dublin Fire Brigade crews from both Finglas and Phibsboro as well as paramedics attended the scene.
They tweeted: "We're responding to a serious incident in a hotel in Whitehall, crews from Finglas, P'boro + advanced paramedics [sic]."
On their Facebook page, the promoters MGM had advertised an official weigh-in for 'Clash of the Clans' Show at the Regency, which was due to begin at 2pm yesterday afternoon.
Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the area of the Regency Hotel or may have information, to contact them at Ballymun Garda Station on 01 666 4400.
Ireland's Olympic bronze medallist Michael Conlan's older brother, Jamie, was due to be weighed in at the event in the Regency Hotel yesterday but pulled out of his fight after suffering a shoulder injury in training three weeks ago.