NewsCrime Desk

Hit squad on standby as spotters keep lookout for 'The Monk'

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch
Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

As Gardaí were swarming the inner city in the wake of Eddie Hutch’s murder, the opposing Kinahan faction had placed spotters outside the Mater Hospital to watch for the Monk’s arrival in the event his brother was taken there.

If he was seen at the hospital, another hit team would have been dispatched, it is claimed.

The Sunday World has learned that in the wake of the murder of Eddie Hutch Snr a number of close relatives booked themselves into hotels in the city to hide themselves from Kinahan Cartel shooters.

Eddie Hutch Snr

Sources have also confirmed that the Monk has been in Ireland for several weeks, but has been staying in a safe house.

Among the chief suspects for the hit on Eddie Snr are two of the thugs suspected of carrying out the murder of Baiba Saulite in November 2006.

The two killers were close associates of Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland – the Dublin crime boss who was himself executed a month later.

A third suspected member of the four-man death squad is a well-known killer who was hired by the Kinahan Cartel for a number of gangland murders in Dublin.

He is believed to be the would-be assassin who shot and seriously injured John Gilligan in a murder bid in February 2014.

He is also the prime suspect for the subsequent murder of Gilligan’s minder, Stephen ‘Dougie’ Moran.

Gardaí have compared the meticulous level of planning in preparation for the Regency Hotel attack – during which David Byrne was murdered – with that employed in the cash van robberies the Hutch Gang was linked to in the eighties.

In 1987, a north inner-city gang reputed to have been led by Hutch robbed £1.3m (€1.6m) from a security van in Marino Mart on Dublin’s northside.

The heist, the biggest cash robbery in Irish history, catapulted the Monk into the big league, alongside the likes of John Gilligan, George ‘the Penguin’ Mitchell and Martin ‘the General’ Cahill.

In 1995 Hutch and his gang were identified as the main suspects for the robbery of £2.8m (€3.5m) in a daring heist from a cash holding facility in north county Dublin.

While Gardaí are satisfied he was the mastermind of two of the biggest cash heists in Irish history, he never admitted carrying out the raids.

In later years, he insisted he had given up all his criminal activities – but admitted he was heavily involved in crime in his younger years.

CAB made Hutch their number one target with Operation Alpha, ultimately forcing him to pay over the equivalent of more than €1.5m to become tax compliant.

He later got a taxi licence and named his limousine business CAB – Carry Any Body.

It is believed he has retained the respect and loyalty of veteran criminals and former Republican paramilitaries.

It’s understood that Eddie Hutch’s remains will be released to his family on Wednesday, while his funeral is expected to take place in the north inner city on Thursday or Friday.

Ann Gavin, the dead man’s sister-in -law, told how the thugs responsible for her brother’s murder chased the 59-year-old father-of-five in the door and shot him in his living room.

She said: “Eddie’s wife Margaret...  she heard the bang and she knew and started running out the back.

“She looked back into the house and all she could see was his feet coming out of the sitting room.

“Margaret didn’t see him like that, thank God, because when we went in I looked in and tried to check for a pulse and there was nothing. We closed the door over to protect her.

“He got about three or four bullets all into the head. It was the worst thing in the world. There was blood all over the walls.”