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Dubiln hotel gunman in drag got lost and had to ask porter for directions

By Ryan Nugent

Published 08/02/2016

Gunmen disguised as Gardai walk calmly into a Dublin hotel, then kill a man at boxing event in a hail of bullets [File photo]
Gunmen disguised as Gardai walk calmly into a Dublin hotel, then kill a man at boxing event in a hail of bullets [File photo]
A Garda cordon outside the Regency Hotel in Dublin after one man died and two others were injured following a shooting incident at the hotel

The gunman in drag who fired the first shots in Friday's gangland slaying at Dublin's Regency Hotel got lost in the building moments before he opened fire and had to ask staff for directions.

He acted like a "feeble old woman", wearing a dirty blonde wig, knee high boots, a black coat and scarf, as he entered the hotel arm-in-arm with another man.

The pair went into the building through a side entrance in an attempt to get into the room where the weigh-in was happening for the MGM boxing event. Around 100 people were in attendance, including several members of the Christy Kinahan crime syndicate.

However, they soon realised they did not know they were halfway down the corridor.

The two men then turned back and exited the building, with the man disguised as a woman appearing to make a phone call for directions, before approaching one of the hotel's porters for help.

General manager John Glynn said that although the man was disguised as a harmless old woman, he had asked the porter for directions in a distinctively masculine voice.

"The guy dressed as a woman spoke with a male voice and after asking for directions they eventually went back down through the corridor and found their way," Mr Glynn said.

"Initially it appeared that this woman was pretending to be feeble, old and harmless.

"She was being linked arm-in-arm with what seemed to be her son, and she looked as if she was coming for a bit of lunch.

"They went into the weigh-in room, and the guy dressed as a woman fired the first shot - he had a small little gun in his pocket," he added.

It is believed that upon hearing the gunshot criminal David Byrne (34) ran to the exit doors, but slipped in the reception area upon catching sight of two other gunmen who came through the front door, dressed as Garda and armed with AK-47s, who killed him.

One woman who was staying at the hotel, which is around two miles north of Dublin city centre, said that she was about to leave with her three-year-old son when she heard a loud bang, but thinking nothing of it she made her way downstairs in the lift.

The woman then heard screaming, spotted the masked men carrying the AK-47s, and made a dash back to her hotel room with her son.

"I saw the guns and they were being pointed at everyone," said the woman, who has been living at the hotel since becoming homeless.

"My son said to me: 'Mam, what's that'. But I just grabbed him and went back to my room." She added: "When I was able to walk out eventually, all I could see was blood everywhere, it was horrible to look at."

The hotel's main reception area was still cordoned off yesterday, with Garda forensic teams scouring the site.

Management is offering support services to all staff.

Last night armed Garda and plain clothes detectives were patrolling the streets surrounding the south Dublin home of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson, a cousin of David Byrne.

Officers in balaclavas with Heckler & Koch sub-machine guns last night assisted at checkpoints in the Crumlin area of Dublin, with armed units stopping traffic heading towards the city.

The murder victim and his brother Liam were key players in a drug distribution business in Ireland, along with their notorious cousin 'Fat' Freddie Thompson. Security sources said they had "no doubt" the objective of the attack was to kill crime boss Kinahan's son Daniel and "wipe out" several other gang members in revenge for the murder of another man in Spain last year.

Belfast Telegraph

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