The Director of Public Prosecutions has dropped all charges against the man who was accused of murdering David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Dublin.
Mr Byrne was shot six times when three men dressed as armed gardaí burst into the reception area of the Regency hotel during a boxing weigh-in
The shooting was believed to be revenge for the murder of Gareth Hutch, who was shot dead in Spain four years ago.
The prosecution claimed Patrick Hutch took part in the hit and was armed at the hotel disguised as a woman with a blonde wig.
The trial was adjourned this time last year following the tragic death of the lead investigator Detective Superintendent Colm Fox.
There was a heavy Garda presence both inside and outside the non-jury court this morning when the prosecuting barrister Sean Gillane told the judges that Mr Fox’s death had resulted in a situation where the prosecution is not in a position to lead evidence on a number of evidential topics.
The charges against him were then withdrawn – a decision that was met with an outburst from two women in the public gallery.
Mr Hutch emerged from the building a short time later through a side exit and left the area on a motorbike.
VIDEO David Byrne’s mother Sadie and other family members leaving court after the murder charge against Patrick Hutch was dropped. Mr. Byrne was shot dead during a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in Dublin three years ago. pic.twitter.com/SrsabwZYLg
— Frank Greaney (@FrankGreaney) February 20, 2019
Appeal for calm
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, hopes today's decision does not spark any further violence in the capital.
Speaking on the Pat Kenny Show, he said: "I think there is a little level of apprehension around... people hoping that this doesn't spark any further retaliation or any further incidents in the inner city.
"I just hope that nothing happens - I'd appeal to everybody for calm."
He added that there's a continuing Garda investigation into the Regency Hotel shooting, noting: "It still is ongoing - this part of it has finished."
Reporting from Frank Greaney and Stephen McNeice