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Man suspected of involvement in Dublin boxing weigh-in murder battles extradition to Republic

By Alan Erwin

Published 07/09/2016

On remand: Kevin Murray
On remand: Kevin Murray

A disabled Co Tyrone man allegedly played a central part in events surrounding a Dublin murder that sparked a gangland feud, a court has heard.

Kevin Murray (46) appeared before a judge in Belfast as part of attempts to have him extradited to face charges linked to the shooting of David Byrne at a boxing weigh-in.

He was detained at his home in Townsend Street, Strabane, on Monday evening under a European Arrest Warrant issued by authorities in the Irish Republic.

Murray has been remanded in custody until Friday, when a decision is expected on his application for bail.

He is wanted in connection with the fatal gun attack at the Regency Hotel in Dublin on February 5.

Byrne, a 34-year-old father-of-two from the Crumlin area of Dublin, was shot dead when masked men dressed as Garda officers opened fire with automatic guns. His killing ignited a deadly feud between members of the rival Kinahan and Hutch gangs.

Murray is being sought in connection with alleged offences of murder, possession of a firearm with intent, and possession of a firearm in suspicious circumstances.

Leaning heavily on a walking frame, he made his way into the dock at Belfast Recorder's Court with help from a prison guard.

Dressed in a mustard coloured T-shirt and jeans, the bearded and bespectacled wanted man showed little emotion during the hearing.

His barrister, Desmond Fahy, confirmed Murray does not consent to extradition.

Opposing bail, Stephen Ritchie, for the Dublin High Court judge who issued the warrant, confirmed the process was connected to David Byrne's murder.

"There were a number of people involved," he said.

"This man (Murray) is alleged to have played a central part in the events."

He argued there was a flight risk, despite the requested person's frailties. Murray has only lived at his current address for a month, he added.

Mr Fahy countered that his client's health has deteriorated since December, leaving him unable to walk without assistance. Murray is awaiting the results of MRI scans carried out amid concerns he is developing multiple sclerosis, the court heard. Judge Smyth was also told he has continued to live openly in Strabane, despite being subjected to significant media attention since February.

The court heard that Murray's family were prepared to put up a £10,000 cash surety to secure his release.

Following submissions, the judge ordered a medical report to be produced by Friday. She remanded Murray in custody to be brought back to court then.

Belfast Telegraph

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