The Special Criminal Court has been told that no one knew who the two people were in the photograph taken at the Regency Hotel on the day David Byrne was murdered two years ago, and the imperative was to find out who they were.

Patrick Hutch has pleaded not guilty to murder and related firearms charges over Mr Byrne's death on 5 February 2016.

The prosecution told the three judges that the identification of Patrick Hutch by two gardaí as the man dressed as a woman that day was not "a ready up" and the two gardaí did not know they were going to identify "a Hutch".

The trial has previously heard that detectives Fergal O’Flaherty and Jonathan Brady recognised Patrick Hutch as the man dressed as a woman in the picture.

Senior Counsel Sean Gillane rejected what he said was a defence suggestion that because Patrick Hutch’s brother Gary Hutch had been shot dead and his other brother, Derek Hutch, was in prison, "the only Hutch that could have been identified was Patrick".

He said the evidence was that the two gardaí knew little or nothing about the wider investigation and no evidence that any member of the Hutch family was a focus of the gardaí.

Mr Gillane described the murder of Mr Byrne at the Regency Hotel as "an unprecedented event, an attack in the middle of the day with assault rifles in Dublin city".

He said the subsequent garda investigation had real world imperatives that required steps to be taken immediately to have the two individuals in the photograph identified.

Mr Gillane also said that much had been made of the Hutch/Kinahan background, with a lot of speculation in the media.

However, he said it was never accepted or put in evidence that Detective O’Flaherty and Detective Brady, were going to that garda station to identify a Hutch.

Mr Gillane also said the court was being asked to say the both detectives statements involved "collusion" because "both were the same, if you ignore the differences," when both explicitly denied they had contributed to each other's statements.

This afternoon, the court heard that the two gardaí who identified Patrick Hutch as a man dressed as a woman at the Regency Hotel on 5 February 2015 had "quite specific knowledge" of him

Mr Gillane said that both Detective O'Flaherty and Detective Brady knew Patrick Hutch for longer than the other gardaí who failed to identify him.

He also said that the failure of the gardaí to keep records in relation to this process is not something that would invoke the exclusionary rule which could prevent the admission of the identifications as evidence in the case.

But defence counsel insisted that records that should have been created were not created and the detectives were relying on "self interested versions 22 months after the event".

Senior Counsel Michael O’Higgins also said the defence was highlighting "a very close similarity" in the two garda's statements, which suggests they co-operated.

The closeness of the language and absence of certain detail in these statements, he said, could not be a coincidence.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt said there was now "a lot of complex detail to be looked at" and that "the devil is in the detail."

The prosecution accepted that if the court rules against the admissibility of the evidence that is the end of the case against Patrick Hutch.

Defence Counsel said that if the court admits the evidence the trial is expected to continue for another week.

The three judges will give their ruling on 2 February.