Regency Hotel murder case may go to non-jury trial

David Byrne was shot dead at the Regency Hotel in February.

Patrick Hutch Jnr, who has been charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel, in Dublin, could face a non-jury trial in the Special Criminal Court.

David Byrne (34) was shot dead during a boxing weigh-in at the popular hotel in Raheny, in north Dublin, on February 5, by a gang of heavily-armed raiders.

On the evening of May 18, Patrick Hutch (24), of Champions Avenue, Dublin 1, was brought to appear before a special sitting of Dublin District Court.

He was charged with the murder of David Byrne and was remanded in custody. Mr Hutch, who made no reply to the charge, faced his second appearance yesterday, at Cloverhill District Court.

Det Sergeant Mick Mulligan told Judge Victor Blake that the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed trial on indictment, and is deciding whether to issue a certificate for the Special Criminal Court.

A book of evidence has yet to be prepared.

Dressed in a grey shirt and black jeans, Mr Hutch remained silent during the hearing and nodded when asked if he agreed to the case being adjourned for four weeks. His barrister, Hugh O’Connor, confirmed his client consented.

Mr Hutch, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, was further remanded in custody and will face his next hearing on June 22.

Due to the nature of the charge, the District Court cannot grant bail, meaning Mr Hutch will have to bring an application to the High Court to get released pending trial.

His solicitor has already said he wanted to prepare a bail application and he would notify the prosecution.

Meanwhile, a man in his 50s, who had been held at Ballymun Garda Station in connection with the David Byrne murder, was released without charge yesterday. He had been held for seven days under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act.

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