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Flanagan slams 'grotesque' Regency murder claims

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Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan blasted the video

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan blasted the video

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan blasted the video

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has described claims that Fine Gael was involved in the Regency Hotel gangland murder as "grotesque" and "outlandish".

Mr Flanagan said he expects gardai and UK police are monitoring a YouTube channel which uploaded a short documentary suggesting a Fine Gael-led government orchestrated the shooting during the 2016 general election campaign.

"The new Government will prioritise tightening up on this kind of communication," the minister said.

Meanwhile, former tanaiste and justice minister Frances Fitzgerald, who features in the YouTube video, described the claims as "outrageous".

"It's outrageous to suggest that democratically elected politicians would have any sort of links to that level of serious criminal behaviour," Ms Fitzgerald said.

Crime

The false claim was made in a 14-minute, professionally made documentary published on a YouTube channel run by a Birmingham media organisation called Scarcity Studios.

The video features a re- enactment of the gun murder of David Byrne in the Regency Hotel in February 2016 during a weigh-in for a boxing match.

It features the false allegation that the gangland killing was linked to the 2016 general election campaign as Fine Gael used the crime to criticise Sinn Fein's position on the Special Criminal Court.

Gardai believe Daniel Kinahan was the main target of the gang who stormed the venue dressed in garda uniforms.

Kinahan has been named in the High Court as being a central figure in an international drugs cartel established by his father Christy Kinahan.

He escaped the Regency Hotel unharmed during the murder, and the attack led to a wave of violent slayings of people linked to Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

At least two innocent people have been killed during the bloody feud.