Gardaí step up patrols after Hutch gang members approach home of former Sinn Féin councillor

Suspect in Regency attack and convicted killer from Hutch organisation spotted at Dowdall home after guilty plea
Gardaí step up patrols after Hutch gang members approach home of former Sinn Féin councillor

The Regency Hotel in Dublin where David Byrne was shot dead in 2016. Former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall has pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to facilitating the murder. Picture: RollingNews.ie

Gardaí have boosted patrols and checkpoints around the home of a former Sinn Féin councillor who last week admitted facilitating the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel, Dublin, in February 2016.

Garda cars and marked armed support units rushed to the home of Jonathan Dowdall after two senior figures in the Hutch criminal network called to the house on Navan Road in Cabra, west Dublin, on Thursday.

Jonathan Dowdall: Armed support units rushed to his house after Hutch criminal figures called to his house.
Jonathan Dowdall: Armed support units rushed to his house after Hutch criminal figures called to his house.

A person in the house rang 999 after the two individuals jumped over waist-high electronic gates, walked up to the door and knocked.

It was just a day after Jonathan Dowdall, 44, and his father Patrick Dowdall, 65, pleaded guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court to contributing to a serious offence by a criminal organisation (the murder of Byrne) by making a room available at the Regency Hotel for members of the gang.

The attack at the Regency Hotel, conducted by a six-man team, sparked the Kinahan-Hutch feud in Ireland and Spain.

The guilty plea comes as two co-accused, Paul Murphy of Cabra Road, Dublin, and Jason Bonney of Portmarnock, Dublin, are due to stand trial, also charged with contributing to a criminal organisation in the murder of Byrne. 

The trial of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, charged with the murder of 34-year-old Byrne, from Crumlin, Dublin, is also due to begin.

A garda response was activated after emergency calls were received, that two-high profile figures in the Hutch criminal organisation were at the door of Mr Dowdall.

A patrol car was dispatched from Cabra Garda Station, while an armed support unit, driving along nearby Phibsboro Road, was also alerted. Both are said to have been there in around a minute.

The two individuals had fled. One is a suspect for the Regency attack. The other is a high-profile figure who has served sentences for armed robbery and manslaughter

They may have been helped by a third person, the driver of a car.

A couple of hours later, reports were received that the Regency suspect and a separate individual, also a senior Hutch gang figure and a survivor of Kinahan cartel attacks, were spotted in Coolock, north Dublin.

The report contained suggestions that one of them was carrying a bag, though sources indicated the details were vague.

Gardaí were scrambled and, on foot of a warrant, a house in Coolock was searched, but no bag or suspicions items were recovered.

Gardaí have increased patrols by marked garda vehicles around the Dowdall home and checkpoints in the vicinity are being carried out.

Patrols by two armed support units units, one covering the Dublin West Division, where the Dowdall home is, and one covering Dublin North Central, are prioritising the general area.

Garda sources said there is concern within the organisation at the events and that appropriate security measures have been taken.

The Dowdalls are due to be sentenced in the Special Criminal Court on Monday.

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