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Terminally ill Tyrone man Kevin Murray wanted over Dublin gangland murder of David Byrne is bailed

By Alan Erwin

A Co Tyrone man fighting extradition over his alleged role in a Dublin gangland murder is to be granted bail, a judge has ruled.

Kevin Murray, who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease, which is terminal, is wanted in connection with the killing of David Byrne.

Defence lawyers secured the 46-year-old's release from custody after arguing that his deteriorating condition meant he posed no risk of flight.

Judge Patricia Smyth also banned any reporting of his whereabouts due to a high level death threat against him.

Byrne (34), from Crumlin in Dublin, was shot dead at the city's Regency Hotel in February last year. Masked men dressed as Garda officers opened fire with automatic rifles during a boxing weigh-in at the venue. The murder ignited a deadly feud between members of the rival Kinahan and Hutch gangs.

Murray was detained last September under a European Arrest Warrant issued by authorities in the Irish Republic.

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

It was previously claimed in court that Murray can be clearly identified on CCTV footage at the hotel and photographic evidence.

Another man, Patrick Hutch (24), 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.

But lawyers for Murray claim he is unlikely to ever stand trial because his motor neurone disease is so severe.

It was confirmed at Belfast Recorders' Court yesterday that police and health officials met to finalise a plan for ensuring Murray's care and security.

With the wanted man having already surrendered his passport, Judge Smyth said she was prepared to grant bail.

Murray must also put up a £2,000 cash surety as part of his release conditions.

The extradition case will be reviewed again next month.

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