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Monk origins Nicola Tallant book extract: Why Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch despised heroin dealers

'The Provisional IRA were hugely active at the time and Hutch admired and respected them, but more for their brawn than their politics'

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Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch

The Monk had never intended to become a celebrity. It had come as a result of his success and steely determination to win at life, despite the lousy hand of cards he had been dealt.

Gerry Hutch had been born the youngest of eight in the early 1960s and was reared in abject poverty.

There had been jobs once, at the dockyards, for the families who squeezed into tiny flats in the rundown Georgian properties that lined Dublin’s streets.

He began his own criminal career at the age of 10 and later led the ‘Bugsy Malones’, a group of hungry and feral inner-city youngsters nicknamed after the hit gangster comedy movie.

Hutch hated the law, politicians and the establishment who sought to bring him to heel as he amassed a string of convictions.

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Nicola Tallant -  Clash of the Clans

Nicola Tallant - Clash of the Clans

Nicola Tallant - Clash of the Clans

Before he knew it, he was in Mountjoy jail, where he got his degree in crime and found mentors to help him on the road to the big time.

In prison he had become very serious, so much so that he earned his nickname ‘The Monk’ from fellow lags. In later years, when the media reported that his name represented his no smoking, no drinking attitude to life he went along with it, albeit while laughing into his pint.

He was released in 1985 and within two years was suspected of having orchestrated his first spectacular heist while still in his early twenties.

As he basked in his new-found fame and set about making his money grow, Hutch began to detest smack dealers. All around him was the destruction of a heroin epidemic which had hit his north inner-city home harder than anywhere else.

There were task forces, Concerned Parents and swathes of community workers, but heroin was bigger than them all and it ate away at the heart and soul of the community.

The Provisional IRA were hugely active at the time and Hutch admired and respected them, but more for their brawn than their politics.

He learned very quickly to share his spoils with them, keep them onside, and cultivate an image for himself as a Robin Hood-style character who would steal from the rich but who would often help out the poor.

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The reality was far less heroic and gardai believe that at least some money stolen in the daring robberies was invested in cannabis, which was sold around Dublin for large profits.

Like all good mafia Dons, Hutch washed his money through the construction industry and bought up cheap properties around the area and beyond.

His black hair and icy blue eyes made him stand out on the streets where he would often be seen whispering to underlings or eyeing up passing strangers with suspicion.

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