NewsCrime Desk

'The Monk' is back in town

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch
Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

The Kinahan cartel's number one target, Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, is back in Dublin - but keeping an extremely low profile.

The fact that Hutch has left his base in Lanzarote to return to the capital has increased tensions in the murderous feud between associates of his nephew Gary and the Christy Kinahan cartel.

It is believed that 'The Monk' (52) was in Dublin when his older brother Eddie (59) was shot dead at his home in Poplar Row, in the north inner city, on Monday evening. He is understood to be completely shocked by the slaying.

The development comes as heavily-armed members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) patrolled streets in the north and south inner city all day yesterday.

Armed officers, who privately admitted they have been shocked by events since Friday, are monitoring key players aligned to both the Hutch and Kinahan gangs.

It is understood that up to 40 key criminals are under surveillance by gardai. In recent months many have been warned their lives are under threat.

Checkpoints continued last night at various locations amid fears that the bloody feud could claim a third life within a week.

Eddie, considered a "soft target", was shot dead on the orders of the cartel in revenge for Friday's murder of David Byrne in a Drumcondra hotel - an attack he had no involvement in.

"Eddie was killed to get at his brother. It is simple as that. That man had no involvement in organised crime and his killers knew that," a source said last night.

A massive investigation into the murder is being carried out by gardai at Mountjoy Garda Station and specialist garda units who are attempting to identify the four-man hit team that carried out the ruthless shooting.

Sources said gardai are investigating a number of possible suspects for the murder of the taxi man, including Cabra-based criminals suspected of the gun murder of Darren Kearns in December.

Also being investigated is a notorious hitman who twice tried to murder exiled crime lord John Gilligan. All these criminals have close links to the Kinahan cartel.

It is understood that a very close Crumlin-based associate of Byrne put up €25,000 to avenge his murder in the Regency Hotel. Daniel Kinahan - the son of drugs boss Christy - was also an intended target of the hotel shooting.

Investigations have also established that the three men shot in Friday's attack were hit by bullets from the AK-47s, rather than the handguns brandished by at least two of the hit team.

The deadly feud between the Christy Kinahan cartel and associates of Gary Hutch started when Gary was shot dead in Spain last September.

After months of simmering underworld tension, the feud exploded when a north inner city gang connected to Gary Hutch opened fire in the Regency Hotel.

The cartel held a war council in a south inner city pub over the weekend and struck back quickly. Despite a massive garda presence in the city they murdered Eddie Hutch in Monday's revenge attack.

Yesterday, it emerged that just hours after Hutch was murdered, gardai arrested 'Fat' Freddie Thompson and his cousin Liam Roe after a short car chase that started in Crumlin and ended in Cork Street.

Thompson had his clothes seized by gardai after they spotted blood on his tracksuit and runners.

It is understood that 'Fat' Freddie was "keeping his head down" last night.

Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan would not say if any members of the Hutch family were told if their lives were in danger prior to the shooting of Eddie Hutch.

"That's not an avenue I'd like to go down at this point in time," he said, adding that gardai "had no specific intelligence" that Eddie Hutch was at risk.

Eddie Hutch was hit multiple times by two gunmen who shot through the door of his house at around 7.40pm on Monday, before they finally murdered him in his sitting room.

The killers escaped in a silver BMW, but failed to burn out the car at St Patrick's Parade before leaving in a dark-coloured 4x4, possibly an Isuzu or Land Cruiser.

As gardai probe the murder of Eddie Hutch, a massive investigation is ongoing into the hotel murder of Byrne (34).

None of the guns used in the hotel shooting have been recovered and gardai are "especially concerned" that the two AK-47 assault rifles are still in "circulation".

Ken Foy