Video: Regency Hotel killing, Coveney 'embarrassed', Covid testing surge

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Regency Hotel killing

A former Sinn Féin councillor who is charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel will go on trial alongside three co-accused at the Special Criminal Court next year.

In July at the non-jury court, gardaí served Books of Evidence on four men, including former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall, who are all charged in connection with the murder of Mr Byrne at the hotel in 2016.

Mr Byrne was shot dead at the hotel on the Swords Road in Dublin in February 2016 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.

Separately, a Dublin man has pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to involvement in a failed bid by the Kinahan cartel to murder rival Hutch gang member James 'Mago' Gately four years ago.

Coveney 'embarrassed'

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Simon Coveney said he is “embarrassed” by the Katherine Zappone fiasco, admitting it has not been his finest month in politics.

As the long-running saga has been dragging on for almost eight weeks since it was revealed that Ms Zappone was to be appointed as a UN special envoy, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said he regrets not being more transparent.

On Wednesday, he will face a Sinn Féin motion of no confidence when the Dáil returns from the summer recess.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has defended her party's bringing of the motion, saying the issue “is around the entire culture of Irish politics now for a century, exemplified by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.”

Covid testing surge

A further 1,181 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic on Tuesday. There are 309 coronavirus patients in hospital, with 60 in intensive care units.

Ireland's Covid-19 testing system is dealing with an increase in demand today, with no same-day appointments left in Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Louth or Wicklow.

Yesterday was Ireland's “highest swabbing day ever”, with around 30,000 Covid-19 tests carried out.

The surge in demand is partly due to the return of schools and the circulation of other viruses.

Rugby apology

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The IRFU and Leinster Rugby have issued a joint apology after a video of the Connacht women's team changing in an area surrounded by rubbish and rats went viral.

People were disgusted at the shocking changing conditions before Connacht's clash with Ulster at Energia Park in Donnybrook on Saturday.

“Wow great job getting changed beside the dump (face palm emoji) don't mind the rats," read the caption accompanying the widely shared video, with sponsors also tagged to highlight the issue.

Former Sinn Féin councillor to go on trial over Regency Hotel killing

A former Sinn Féin councillor who is charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel will go on trial alongside three co-accused at the Special Criminal Court next year.

In July at the non-jury court, gardaí served Books of Evidence on four men, including former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall, who are all charged in connection with the murder of Mr Byrne at the hotel in 2016.

Mr Byrne was shot dead at the hotel on the Swords Road in Dublin in February 2016 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building, which was hosting a boxing weigh-in at the time.

Murder accused told gardaí that wife stabbed herself

A Paypal employee accused of murdering his wife told gardaí that she had stabbed herself, leaving him so distraught that he then stabbed himself, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Opening the trial of 39-year-old Renato Gehlen, Shane Costelloe SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions said the jury will also hear evidence that the accused man was upset that his wife Anne Colomines wanted a divorce. On the night her body was found, Mr Gehlen is alleged to have told a friend: "I have just killed Anne and I'm going to kill myself."

Mr Costelloe said that gardai and members of the Dublin Fire Brigade went to the home that Mr Gehlen shared with his wife and found the already deceased body of Ms Colomines alongside the accused, who had a knife protruding from his torso.

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