The Finance Minister has said Sinn Féin must give an “adequate explanation” about its ties to Jonathan Dowdall in the wake of Gerry “The Monk” Hutch’s murder trial.
Michael McGrath told Newstalk Breakfast we are seeing “more and more information come into the public domain about Jonathan Dowdall’s connection with Sinn Féin”.
Mr Dowdall joined Sinn Féin in mid-2013 and resigned from the party in February 2015.
“It is a long association that he has with the party,” Mr McGrath said. “It wasn't just the short time that he served as a councillor.”
Mr McGrath said “we now know” that Mr Dowdall was a financial supporter of Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, referencing the €1,000 cheque Mr Dowdall made to her.
“He is now a convicted criminal. He has been convicted of a crime of torture and has now been convicted of facilitating a murder at the Regency.”
Gerry "The Monk" Hutch
Mr Dowdall is currently serving a four-year sentence for facilitating the murder of David Byrne in 2016.
In 2018, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for torturing a man in January 2015, but this sentence was later reduced to six years.
Mr Dowdall was a witness in the trial of Gerry Hutch – but his testimony was dismissed as unreliable.
Yesterday, Gerry Hutch was found not guilty of the murder of Mr Byrne, the Kinahan gang member who was shot dead at the Regency Hotel in 2016.
During the trial, the court heard recordings of conversations between Dowdall and Hutch in which Dowdall suggested Sinn Féin’s then-director of elections in Dublin, Brian Keane, quizzed him about a 2011 shooting incident that occurred at the house of Dowdall’s uncle.
Mr McGrath is now calling for Sinn Féin to give a full explanation of Mr Dowdall’s work within the party.
He said: “What we do need is an explanation and an account from Sinn Féin of exactly what their relationship was over the years with Jonathan Dowdall.”
“What his connection with the party was, what role he played in the operations of the party and the decisions of the party.”