'All systems go' for trial of Gerry Hutch to proceed next week, court told

'All Systems Go' For Trial Of Gerry Hutch To Proceed Next Week, Court Told
Defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC said he was not in a position to say whether the trial will finish by Christmas but added it was "quite possible" it would. Photo: Collins Courts
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Alison O'Riordan

It is "all systems go" for the trial next week of Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch, who is accused of the murder of Kinahan gang member David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016, his counsel has told the Special Criminal Court.

The court heard on Monday that the trial is expected to open before the court next Tuesday, October 18th.


Defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Hutch, told the non-jury court that the "newer evidence" in the case will be "back loaded" and there will be "substantial cross-examination" at the "latter part of the trial".

When asked by presiding judge Ms Justice Tara Burns about the length of the trial, Mr Grehan said he was not in a position to say whether the trial will finish by Christmas but that it was "quite possible" it would. "If it doesn't finish by Christmas, I don't suspect that it will last many weeks after that," he added.

Last week, lawyers for Mr Hutch told the three-judge court that they had been forced to carry out a "fundamental reappraisal" of their trial strategy after being served with significant new evidence.

Outstanding disclosure

The 59-year-old's trial, which was due to get underway last Monday, was adjourned to allow the defence to consider "a relatively small amount" of outstanding disclosure.


Mr Grehan told the court last Monday that his client has been in custody for over a year and that he was anxious to proceed with his trial.

"He was ready to proceed today, but matters developed late last week and we were served with very significant evidence which has resulted in a fundamental reappraisal of the defence strategy," he added.

Mr Hutch was present in court for Monday's brief hearing, where he sported a full mane of grey hair and a pair of headphones. He wore a suit jacket, a white open-neck shirt and dark trousers.

Sadie Byrne, Mr Byrne's mother, was also in court to hear when the proceedings would go ahead.


At the outset of the brief hearing, Sean Gillane SC, on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said a significant amount of work had gone into the "gathering of material" last week, which had been disclosed to the defence.

"There is a relatively small amount still to be disclosed and we hope to do that today," he added.

Mr Gillane suggested that the three-judge court list the matter for 2pm next Monday and said that he might be in a position to open the case then.

In reply, Mr Grehan said "very substantial progress" had been made on the disclosure process and the service of "new evidence". He said there was still "outstanding" material, which was being attended to.


Client anxious to proceed

Mr Grehan stressed that Mr Hutch was anxious for the case to proceed and from their point of view it was "all systems go for next Monday".

However, Ms Justice Burns said that next Monday would not work as one of the members of the court has work commitments that day and suggested that they sit on Friday or next Tuesday if there were matters to address before the trial began.

Mr Gillane and Mr Grehan both agreed that the trial could start next Tuesday.

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Mr Grehan said he was not inclined to trouble the court "looking for rulings" but that if he had to "trouble the court" he would.


Mr Grehan also asked the court if they would permit his legal team to consult with their client in the Criminal Courts of Justice building on Monday, which was acceded to.

Ms Justice Burns told the parties that if the trial was to run past Christmas then perhaps "arrangements" could be made until the early part of January.

Ms Justice Burns, presiding, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge Grainne Malone adjourned the trial until next Tuesday at 11am and said that it might be necessary to revisit the "court hours" as time had been lost.

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