Jonathan Dowdall has insisted his claim that Gerard Hutch confessed to the Regency Hotel shooting was “not a lie”, according to the court

FORMER Sinn Féin councilor Jonathan Dowdall has insisted his claim that Gerard “The Monk” Hutch confessed to the Regency Hotel shooting was “not a lie”.

Owdall denied lying when he said Mr Hutch told him at a meeting in a park three days after the gangland attack that he and another man had shot the victim David Byrne.

Dowdall continued to provide evidence for the prosecution and also said that the leads he had made in a wiretapped conversation with the defendant regarding the Regency raid related not only to the involvement of the Hutch gang, but to Gerard Hutch himself.

Dowdall testified before Mr. Hutch’s special criminal trial for murder on the eighth day.

Mr Byrne was killed when five attackers, three dressed as ERU Gardai with assault rifles, along with a gunman wearing a flat cap and another gunman dressed as a woman, stormed the Dublin Regency.

The attack at a boxing weigh-in on February 5, 2016 fueled the Kinahan-Hutch gang feud.

Mr Hutch, 59, of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty.

Dowdall had also been charged with the murder of Mr Byrne, but before the trial began he instead pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder by helping to book a room at the Regency for the attackers’ use.

His murder charges were dropped by prosecutors and he became a state witness.

Dowdall, 44, began testifying last week by claiming Mr Hutch met him in a park on February 8, 2016 and confessed that he and another man, “Mago” Gately, shot and killed Mr Byrne. He also claimed that Gerard Hutch was given the keys to a booked room at the Regency used by the flat-cap attacker Kevin Murray.

The court has already heard a tape of recorded surveillance conversations between Dowdall and Mr Hutch as they traveled to Northern Ireland on March 7, 2016 to try to forge Republican contacts to mediate in the escalating feud.

Today, in continued cross-examination, defense attorney Brendan Grehan asked SC Dowdall to comment on the tape as it was being played.

On the recording, Dowdall tells Hutch about meeting Republicans, “that’s something we never thought of” to tell them.

“I know it’s stupid and it’s a lie,” says Dowdall. “You never made the damn regency.”

Mr Hutch replies: “I don’t think there should be anything brought up about who did what… you just can’t go into it.”

“Remember meeting Kevin – you never admitted it was you in the Regency, did you?” says Dowdall.

“What?” asks Mr Hutch and Dowdall repeats it.

“We never admitted it had anything to do with you in the Regency, but obviously we did by giving them the yokes,” says Dowdall.

Mr Hutch replies: “Yes, he knows, yes.”

Mr Grehan said in “Ya’s never done the Regency” Dowdall was referring to the Hutch gang.

“That’s right, but he told me he did it,” Dowdall told Mr Grehan, saying it was during their alleged meeting at the park.

Mr Grehan told him he was lying about it.

“The park isn’t a lie,” Dowdall replied.

Dowdall said the “Kevin” he was referring to was a Kevin Tyrone/O’Neill and he was speaking about a meeting Mr. Hutch had with him on February 20th of that year. Dowdall had not been present at this meeting.

Dowdall said he asked because he was concerned at the time that he was being accused of bringing “flat cap” Kevin Murray into the Regency attack. He wasn’t sure Republicans “knew what they were getting.”

Prosecutors allege talks on the tape relate to three AK-47s deployed in the Regency and promised to Republicans.

Mr Grehan said Dowdall was asked to comment on the audio clip when it was played to him during his direct argument last week after he made a statement.

In his comments, Dowdall had told the court last week: “I address, did you tell them in the North it was you in the Regency? I already knew he was there.”

Dowdall today told Mr Grehan that what he said on the transcript was different and his direct evidence was “just a variation”. He said he was referring to the Hutch family, but there was also a “standalone” part where he said “you.”

Mr Grehan said: “‘You’ could be plural or singular.”

“I said it two ways, first ‘you’ meaning him, and then ‘you’ meaning the whole lot of them,” Dowdall said.

Two other men are also on trial with Mr Hutch. Jason Bonney (51) and Paul Murphy (61) deny providing cars for the attack team. Mr. Dowdall’s evidence does not relate to her.

The no-jury trial will continue before Ms. Justice Tara Burns, Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone. Jonathan Dowdall has insisted his claim that Gerard Hutch confessed to the Regency Hotel shooting was “not a lie”, according to the court

Fry Electronics Team

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