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No diagnosis provided for Tyrone man fighting extradition over alleged role in Dublin Regency Hotel murder, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 21/10/2016

David Byrne was killed in a gun attack at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin in February
David Byrne was killed in a gun attack at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin in February

No diagnosis has been provided on the medical condition of a Northern Ireland man fighting extradition over his alleged role in a gangland murder at a Dublin hotel, a court heard today.

Kevin Murray, from Co Tyrone, is wanted in the Republic of Ireland to face charges connected to the killing of David Byrne on February 5.

Lawyers for Murray, 46, previously disclosed that he was undergoing brain scans amid fears he is developing multiple sclerosis.

But a judge at Belfast Recorder's Court was told today that his precise condition is still to be confirmed.

Counsel representing Irish authorities argued that the bid to have Murray transferred across the border should not be characterised as oppressive.

Pressing for a full hearing, Stephen Ritchie said: "This man, if extradited, will be going 100 miles to Dublin, it's an advanced state who will be able to look after him.

"This case is nowhere near (oppressive); it's a physical condition this man is suffering from."

But Murray's barrister, Desmond Fahy, held firm on progressing without expert opinion on his client's health.

"I can't commit to a position until there's a diagnosis and I'm not going to," he replied. 

Murray was detained at his home in Townsend Street, Strabane last month under a European Arrest Warrant issued by authorities in the Irish Republic.

He is being sought in connection with the fatal gun attack at Dublin's Regency Hotel.

Byrne, a 34-year-old father of two from the Crumlin area, 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 wanted in connection with alleged offences of murder, possession of a firearm with intent, and possession of a firearm in suspicious circumstances.

It was previously claimed in court that he had stayed overnight at the hotel in preparation for his alleged role in the shooting.

Gardai investigating the killing allege Murray can be clearly identified on CCTV footage and photographic evidence.

Another man, 24-year-old Patrick Hutch of Champions Avenue in Dublin, has already been charged with the murder.

He is alleged to have acted with the Co Tyrone man as part of the same gang.

At an earlier hearing Murray appeared in court using a walking aid due to his debilitating condition.

But he was not produced from custody for today's update on the case.

Adjourning proceedings, Her Honour Judge Patricia Smyth stressed the need for both a diagnosis and prognosis to be provided.

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