Gerry Hutch trial hears using tracker on vehicle in north would be illegal

AuthorPaul Healy
Published date03 November 2022
Publication titleDublinLive (Ireland)
Hutch, 59, from Clontarf in North Dublin, is charged with the murder of Kinahan cartel associate David Byrne, 34, in Dublin's Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016 – a charge he has pleaded not guilty to

Also before the court are Paul Murphy, 59, of Cherry Avenue, Swords, and Jason Bonney, 50, of Drimnagh Wood Portmarnock. Both have pleaded not guilty to participating in or contributing to activity that could facilitate the commission of a serious offence –namely the murder of David Byrne – by a criminal organisation by providing access to individual motor vehicles on February 5, 2016.

Following evidence yesterday from a PSNI officer about CCTV footage that was obtained, Defence Counsel Brendan Grehan SC told the court that he wished to make a statement. Mr Grehan said the defence was trying to establish "whether a tracker was used". He stated "we got no headway on that" after cross-examining a number of gardai who have taken the stand over the last few days.

He said that if a tracker was "deployed by gardai to be utilised outside the State" then this would be of "great significance" and it would be his submission that this would be "illegal".

Mr Grehan said the defence was trying to establish whether a Toyota Land Cruiser that is alleged to have contained Gerry Hutch and Jonathan Dowdall "was followed across the border into Northern Ireland".

He said some headway had been made on that but they had made

no progress in establishing if gardai who were involved in a surveillance operation were using a tracking device on the vehicle.

Several gardai have now stated privilege before the court when asked if they were aware of the presence of a tracker.

Mr Grehan said in terms of trying to assemble information the prosecution has relied upon certain CCTV footage – in particular footage obtained on February 20, 2016 at a BP Service Station in Newry and also at the Quays Shopping Centre in the city.

He said it is of great interest to the defence to know how a specific enquiry was made in a "very short time" by gardai to seek footage of the exact whereabouts of that vehicle on that date and time.

And he stated that so far the defence has had "very limited success" in establishing that from the witnesses called to date.

Mr Grehan said it appeared from the witnesses called so far that many of them had simply been tasked to obtain CCTV footage – but that the court has not heard from the person or persons who tasked the person to get the footage in the first place.


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