Murder hunt underway following fatal shooting at Dublin hotel

Latest update: 5pm

Gardaí say they are aware of speculation about a retaliatory attack after 32-year-old David Byrne was shot in a Dublin hotel yesterday.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan, says security checkpoints have been put in place for fear of a retaliation.

He said: “We are also conscious that there is speculation that people may be talking about retaliation in this matter and an Garda Síochána has been very active since this event occurred.

“There have been numerous armed patrols out in Dublin city last night, and they will continue out in the coming days.”

Latest update: 2pm

Gardaí investigating a shooting at a hotel in Dublin yesterday are appealing for information about a silver Ford Transit van.

They believe at least 6 people were involved in the attack.

32-year-old David Byrne from Crumlin was killed after a gang, armed with automatic weapons, stormed the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra in broad daylight.

The van was subsequently found burnt out in the Charlemont Estate.

Latest update: 11.40am

Gardaí are probing possible gangland links to yesterday’s murder at a Dublin hotel.

It is believed 32-year-old David Byrne may have been gunned down as part of a long-running Drimnagh-Crumlin gang feud.

Detectives say four attackers armed with automatic weapons stormed the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra in broad daylight.

The hotel was filled with people attending a weigh-in for a boxing match.

John Glynn, the Regency’s general manager, described the scene: “A number of shots went off, there was one man standing at reception who was shot

“At this stage I would like to take this opportunity to say how sorry I am for him and his family, I think it is a terrible, terrible thing.”

Latest update: 8.00am

A major manhunt is under way after gunmen who dressed in women’s clothes and SWAT team uniforms attacked a boxing event armed with “AK-47-style” rifles and handguns, leaving one man dead and two more injured.

Four attackers burst into the Regency Hotel in Dublin, where up to 300 fans including children had gathered for the event, on Friday, sending bystanders running for their lives as the gang, one of whom was disguised as a “woman and wearing an auburn wig” and the others as “crime drama” police officers, opened fire in the lobby.

The victims, aged in their 20s and 30s were taken to hospital where a man in his 30s later died.

The man who died has been named as 32-year-old David Byrne from Crumlin.

Gardai Chief Superintendent Barry O’Brien said it was a “particularly nasty incident” that had involved “severe weapons”.

He said: “Two individuals were wearing what was described as police-type uniforms. In that regard it was described as a SWAT uniform with metal helmets, similar to what you see on crime dramas.”

Bystanders who were in the lobby described cowering for their lives as the attackers fired multiple rounds at the men.

Kevin McAnena, a sports reporter who was covering the event, said one of two gunmen pointed a “big, massive” gun at him while he sought cover behind the reception desk.

He said: “I was shouting even before he came over ’don’t shoot, don’t shoot’ … I’ve never felt terror like it.”

Mr McAnena said he saw a gunman firing into a victim’s leg.

“The man who is now dead – he was no more than six foot from me.

“The gunshots I heard after I jumped over the receptionist’s desk were probably the gunshots that finished him off.

“That same gunman looked over at me before pointing the gun at me, telling me, I think he said ’get up’ or ’go away’ or something like that.”

Mr McAnena heard two shots outside the hotel and at least three more inside.

“They were big, massive guns – gardai have told me since they were AK-47 rifles,” he said.

“It was just so surreal, it happened so quickly.

A large crowd had gathered at the hotel on the Swords Road, around 3 kilometres north of Dublin city centre.

In dramatic amateur video of the attack rapid gunfire can be heard erupting in the lobby just seconds after the men left the stage in a function room around 2.30pm.

One child is heard crying: “Daddy, help me. Daddy, what was that?” As chairs are tossed aside and people dive for cover, one petrified woman is heard saying “What the f*** is going on?”.

Some spectators fled from the room while heavy rock music continued to play through speakers.

Witness Mel Christle, president of the Boxing Union of Ireland, was standing on a podium where the last of the boxers weighing in had just stood down when the gunfire erupted outside the room.

He said: “There was an incredible noise out there (in the lobby) and that is where I saw a body, a corpse, lying literally at the edge of the reception desk.”

It is believed a number of gangland figures were expected to be attending the weight-in at the Regency Hotel.

Speculation has centred on a feud between Dublin gangsters and an Irish criminal outfit based in the south of Spain.

The boxing chief was adamant the attackers were not targeting the boxers gathered for the weigh-in, but other individuals who were hit in the hotel reception.

The gunmen fled the attack in a van, which was later found set alight nearby.

Mr Christle said one of the attackers was dressed up as a woman and aged in his early 20s, a detail later confirmed by police.

The crowds had gathered to watch a weigh-in for a World Boxing Organization (WBO) title fight between Jamie Kavanagh and Antonio Jao Bento before their Clash of the Clans boxing bout, that was scheduled to take place on Saturday evening,

Kavanagh later tweeted: “Anyone asking I’m OK! Thanks you for asking. I was lucky today is all I can say…..”

Box Nation, the television channel scheduled to broadcast the boxing fight, said the show had been cancelled due to the shooting.