Saturday 23 March 2019

'He was an easy target' - David Byrne's heartbroken partner says he had 'nothing to do with any feud'

David Byrne's girlfriend Kelly Quinn (right) arriving at court with his mother Sadie Byrne (centre)
David Byrne's girlfriend Kelly Quinn (right) arriving at court with his mother Sadie Byrne (centre)
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

THE partner of Regency Hotel victim David Byrne has said that he was in the "wrong place at the wrong time".

Mr Byrne (34) was shot dead during a raid at a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.

Patrick Hutch (26) of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Byrne. The case was dropped by the State earlier this week.

Heartbroken Kelly Quinn, who Byrne had two children with, told The Star newspaper that she believed her partner was seen as an "easy target".

"I haven't really been coping with it at all, not very well. It's really, really bad," Ms Quinn said.

"David was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he was an easy target. He'd nothing to do with any of that feud. He was never involved."

Ms Quinn spoke of the difficulties of raising her children without David, saying: "I pray for them every day".

"Nobody wants violence, nobody wants a feud. Who wants this? Who wants this for their kids growing up?

Gunned down: Regency Hotel murder victim David Byrne
Gunned down: Regency Hotel murder victim David Byrne

"This is not a life. Really nobody asked for this," she told The Star.

Ms Quinn stood alongside family members who called for justice for Mr Byrne outside the Criminal Courts of Justice this week.

She hit out at coverage of the trial, saying: "The papers are glorifying the Hutches and we're being made out to be the worst".

Mr Byrne's mother Sadie previously said that his family were distraught following the collapse of the trial on Wednesday.

Distraught: Sadie Byrne, the mother of David Byrne, outside the Special Criminal Court at the CCJ in Dublin. Picture: Collins
Distraught: Sadie Byrne, the mother of David Byrne, outside the Special Criminal Court at the CCJ in Dublin. Picture: Collins

"What can we do? Where can we go? The police don't want to know. The papers don't want to know. No one wants to listen to me. Nobody," she told reporters outside the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin.

Asked if her family wanted to see an end to to the Hutch-Kinahan feud, Mrs Byrne said: "Of course we want it to end. Who wants a feud? Who wants to live like this? Who wants their child riddled? Gone to a sporting event and he doesn't come home."

On Wednesday, prosecutors  asked for a "nolle prosequi" to be entered on all charges, bringing and end to the trial.

Gardai now believe that Patrick Hutch is staying in a safe house in south Armagh after he was cleared of all charges.

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