AK-47 rifles found in car boot by gardaí a month after Regency hotel shooting, Hutch trial told

Ak-47 Rifles Found In Car Boot By Gardaí A Month After Regency Hotel Shooting, Hutch Trial Told
Members of the Garda Armed Support Unit provide added security at the Special Criminal Court where the trial of Gerry Hutch for the murder of David Byrne continues. Mr. Hutch has pleaded not guilty. Photo: Collins Courts
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Alison O'Riordan

Three AK-47 assault rifles were found in the boot of a car following "an intervention" by gardai just a month after Kinahan cartel member David Byrne was fatally shot in the Regency Hotel, the Special Criminal heard on Thursday.

Inspector Padraig Boyce was giving evidence at the trial of Gerard 'The Monk' Hutch (59), last of The Paddocks, Clontarf, Dublin 3, who denies the murder of Kinahan gang member Mr Byrne (33) during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9 on February 5th, 2016.


Mr Byrne, from Crumlin, was shot dead at the hotel in Swords, Co Dublin, on February 5th 2016 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí in tactical clothing, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time. The victim was shot by two of the tactical assailants and further rounds were delivered to his head and body.

Mr Byrne died as a result of six gunshots, fired from a high-velocity weapon, to the head, face, stomach, hand and legs.

In his opening speech, counsel for the prosecution said the court will hear that Mr Hutch's former co-accused and now State's witness Jonathan Dowdall said Mr Hutch had said that he [Gerry Hutch] had been one of the team that shot Mr Byrne at the Regency.

Giving evidence on Thursday, Inspt Boyce told prosecution counsel Sean Gillane SC that he participated in "an intervention" outside Slane in Co Meath on March 9th, 2016 at 7.05pm.


A man, he said, by the name of Shane Rowan from Forest Park, Killygordan, in Co Donegal was driving a grey Vauxhall Insignia car and the vehicle was stopped at the side of the road.

Rowan was detained and the vehicle was searched. Three assault rifles modelled on original AK-47s and ammunition were found in the boot of the car, said Insp Boyce.

Rowan was arrested for membership of the IRA and possession of the assault rifles and ammunition, he said.

In July 2016, Rowan was jailed for seven and a half years for possession of assault rifles and ammunition. He was also sentenced to a concurrent sentence of four years in prison for IRA membership.


Detective Garda Rory Geelon said he conveyed the Vauxhall to Drogheda Garda Station for a technical examination. The witness said a number of the items were observed in the boot in "various wrapping". There was a short AK-47 assault rifle, two AK-47 assault rifles and three loaded magazine cartridges containing ammunition. Other items found in the boot included one round of ammunition in a loose bag, cable bags, ties and towels, he said.

Sergeant David O'Leary said he got a request to go to Drogheda Garda Station and carry out an examination on the grey Vauxhall Insignia. There were some empty white canvas sacks in the boot and a rug, he said. One of the AK-47s was wrapped in a yellow rug and it did not have a magazine in it, he said. The two other AK-47s were wrapped in white shirts and two loaded magazines for the rifles were wrapped inside a towel, he said.

In his opening speech on Tuesday, Mr Gillane said the three assault rifles found in the rear of the car were later matched to cartridges recovered from the Regency hotel.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone. It is expected to last 12 weeks.


Mr Hutch's two co-accused - Paul Murphy (59), of Cherry Avenue, Swords, Co Dublin and Jason Bonney (50), of Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock, Dublin 13 have also pleaded not guilty to participating in or contributing to the murder of David Byrne by providing access to motor vehicles on February 5th, 2016.

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