Republic of Ireland news

Gerry Hutch trial adjourned after ‘very significant' new evidence submitted

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch
Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

The start of the trial of Gerry “The Monk” Hutch for the 2016 murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Dublin has been adjourned for a week.

The Special Criminal Court in Dublin heard that “very significant additional evidence has resulted in a fundamental reappraisal of the defence strategy”.

It comes after Jonathan Dowdall, 44, of the Navan Road in Dublin, indicated his willingness to become a state witness.

In what was expected to be the first day of the trial, the non-jury court was told on Monday that “substantial” additional evidence had been served and that subsequent correspondence from the defence team’s solicitor was outstanding.

Defence barrister Brendan Grehan SC said Hutch, 59, had been in custody for more than a year and is “anxious” for the trial to proceed, but his legal team agreed with an adjournment of a week in light of the new evidence.

When asked whether the trial would be able to proceed during this court term, Mr Grehan replied that it was his client’s hope that it would.

“I don’t know for certain, we’re travelling in hope at the moment.

“The ball has been kicked into our court and we have to deal with it as best we can.”

The court also heard that there may be additional issues around disclosure, privilege, and the schedule of witnesses, which could require some discussion before the trial begins.

Judge Sarah Berkeley, leading the three-court panel, said the schedule of the Special Criminal Court “is fairly fully booked”.

“If it were to go back, it will be for a significant time. We won’t be able to facilitate a new trial date for a considerable amount of time,” she said.

Paul Murphy, 60, with an address at Cabra Road, and Jason Bonney, 50, with an address at Druimnagh Woods in Portmarnock, are also due to go on trial alongside Hutch over related offences.

They have been charged with providing a motor vehicle to a criminal organisation, with knowledge or having been reckless to whether those actions could facilitate a serious offence by the organisation.

The charges relate to two different vehicles.

Both legal teams indicated that there were no objections to the trial being adjourned for a week.

Sean Gillane SC, for the prosecution, indicated that the case would be listed for trial next Monday “to keep the momentum going”.

The court heard that it is not expected the trial will be able “to begin proper” next Monday, due to the additional evidence served.

Hutch appeared in court wearing a white shirt and what appeared to be a hearing aid.

He arrived to the Dublin courthouse amid heightened security, with armed gardai at the front of the building and a cavalcade of one prison service van and two unmarked Garda jeeps escorting him to and from prison.

Family members of David Byrne appeared in the packed courtroom for the hearing.

Republic of Ireland news