Monk's childhood friends 'living in terror' over death threats
Three childhood friends of Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch have been formally notified that there are credible threats against their lives.
The middle-aged men, who have had no involvement in the capital's bloody gang feud, have known The Monk (53) since they were children.
Now they are being targeted by the Kinahan cartel and are "living in terror" because of their long-standing friendship with the head of the Hutch faction.
"Gerry (the Monk) should be trying to get them out of the country but he is saying 'we'll get it sorted'," a source told the Herald last night.
The three childhood friends of The Monk are not related to the former crime lord and are understood to have no active involvement in the gang feud that has claimed seven lives so far.
Two of the men were previously suspected of involvement in some of The Monk's most famous alleged crimes - including a Brinks Allied heist in Clonshaugh, Dublin, in 1995, in which a gang's seizure of IR£3m in cash was a record amount at the time.
However, neither man was ever charged in relation to this heist, nor indeed was Hutch.
One of the men, who is aged in his mid-50s, is suspected of being a driver in the cash robbery while a man who is now aged in his mid-40s is suspected of being a money launderer for The Monk and helped him invest in properties and pubs both here and in the UK.
These two men now live in different locations in north county Dublin and their presence has led to a huge increase in armed garda patrols around their areas.
Both men have interests in a large number of legitimate businesses in north Dublin. They also have previous criminal convictions but not for serious offences in recent years.
In the case of the man who is aged in his mid-50s, Balbriggan gardai and officers from specialist armed units have been conducting almost nightly armed checkpoints at the "peaceful rural location" where he lives.
In some cases, up to eight officers and four garda vehicles have been involved in these checkpoints, which have caused much concern to people living in the locality.
"It is a very serious and constant police presence and it is very near this individual's home," one local source told the Herald. "It is very clear that the gardai involved in this operation are not overly concerned with checking tax and insurance. There must be a major threat on this man."
The man who is aged in his 40s lives at a location that is closer to Dublin city and he is understood to be "extremely worried" about the threat against him.
He has been subject to underworld speculation that he may have had some "background involvement" in the Regency Hotel gun attack but has not been arrested in relation to that incident.
Another associate of The Monk's is reportedly "in bits" with worry almost a month after receiving his own GIM (Garda Information Message) from gardai in Mountjoy.
The man, in his 50s, lives in the north-inner city and has connections with the Hutches going back a number of years but is said to not be a key player at the moment.
He has been too afraid to stay in his home since receiving the message and has been staying with family in different parts of Dublin, as well as with friends who live around the country.
The man has been afraid to socialise for fear of being targeted by one of the Kinahan's guns for hire, who have been carrying out a spate of brutal slayings in the city.
The north inner city-based man never served a prison sentence and was only involved in crime on a very "petty" level.
He is highly regarded in the local area and is thought to be at risk because of his friendship with Gerry and the Hutch family growing up.
Also seeking security advice from gardai is Gerry Hutch's youngest son - who has no involvement in criminality - over fears that he could become a prime target in the gang war.
Hutch's son, who is aged in his late 20s, has contacted detectives at Clontarf garda station over an active threat against his life.
The sinister threats come as a private school in south Dublin is receiving security advice from gardai over a number of its students. The teenagers are part of the extended Hutch family and the school's principal is understood to have raised concerns over their safety due to the indiscriminate nature of the Kinahan cartel's attacks.
Gardai have been conducting controls near schools in the north-inner city, while armed patrols are also operating on a 24/7 basis in the Crumlin/Drimnagh area which is home to key Kinahan associates.