Housing minister’s brother among politicians who supported Hutch co-defendant's planning application

Housing minister Darragh O’Brien’s brother was among three county councillors who intervened in a planning application submitted by one of the co-defendants in the Regency Hotel attack case.

Jason Bonney is accused of transporting the hitmen who killed a Kinahan associate in the Regency Hotel and his trial continues at the juryless Special Criminal Court (SCC).

Fianna Fáil councillor Eoghan O’Brien sent a letter asking Fingal County Council to approve Bonney’s planning application, with O’Brien’s letter coming after Bonney’s conviction for assaulting a Malahide-based salon owner.

Landlord Bonney’s application to convert his garage into residential accommodation was also supported by councillor Jimmy Guerin, brother of assassinated journalist Veronica Guerin.

'I would like to put on record my support for this application'

North Dublin man Jason Bonney is on trial in the Special Criminal Court for allegedly acting as a getaway driver for hitmen who carried out the February 2016 Regency Hotel murder of the Kinahan-connected David Byrne. He denies the charges as does co-defendant Gerry Hutch who is accused of murdering Byrne.

Bonney and his wife in December 2015 submitted an application to Fingal County Council for permission to convert a rear garden garage at their Portmarnock home into a two-bedroom flat for their adult daughter.

On January 21, 2016 a letter signed by Fingal county councillor Eoghan O’Brien, housing minister Darragh O’Brien’s brother, was submitted to the council in support of Bonney’s application along with the standard €20 fee for observations.

“Jason and Kathryn (Bonney) have contacted their neighbours who have no objection… I would like to put on record my support for this application,” wrote O’Brien in his letter dated January 20, 2016.

Independent Howth-based councillor Jimmy Guerin, brother of journalist Veronica Guerin who was murdered in 1996, also submitted a letter in support of Bonney’s planning application.

In the letter, dated January 12, 2016, Guerin wrote he had “known Jason for many years” and asked the council to give the application “favourable consideration”.

A further email in support of Bonney’s application was submitted by Labour councillor Brian McDonagh on January 15, 2016.

Landlord Bonney has income from five rental properties according to evidence given by gardaí at his 2021 bail hearing.

Eoghan O’Brien, Jimmy Guerin and Brian McDonagh all declined to comment.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors