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20/09/2021

Ex Sinn Féin councillor charged with murder to go on trial with co-accused next year

Man appears before Special Criminal Court charged with attacking and falsely imprisoning man in Louth

Special Criminal Court

By Paul Neilan

A former Sinn Fein councillor who is charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel will go on trial alongside three co-accused at the Special Criminal Court next year.


In July at the non-jury court, gardaí served Books of Evidence on four men, including former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall, who are all charged in connection with the murder of Mr Byrne at the hotel in 2016.


Mr Byrne was shot dead at the hotel on the Swords Road in Dublin in February 2016 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.


Jonathan Dowdall (43), a former north inner city councillor with an address at Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, is charged with the murder of David Byrne, contrary to Common Law, at the hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on February 5, 2016.


Patrick Dowdall (64), Jonathan Dowdall's father, also of the Navan Road, is accused of participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by making a room available at the hotel for that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 4, 2016.


Co-accused Paul Murphy (59) is charged with supplying logistical support to a six-man team suspected of carrying out the murder on February 5, 2016.


He is charged with participating in or contributing to activity intending to or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by providing access to individual motor vehicles to that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 5, 2016.


The fourth man, Jason Bonney (50), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13, is charged with participating in, or contributing to, activity intending to, or being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit the murder of David Byrne, by providing access to individual motor vehicles to that criminal organisation or its members, within the State on February 5, 2016.


Prosecuting barrister Fiona Murphy SC said that there will be an objection to Mr Bonney's free legal aid application and his case was put in for October 7, 2021, for mention.


Today Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding at the three-judge court, fixed October 3, 2022, for a trial that could last up to 12 weeks and put the matter in for an update on April 25, 2022.

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