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Monk without a trace The cryptic message Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch left for gardai after murders of David Byrne and Eddie Hutch

Mobster lives as a fugitive after Regency murder fall-out

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Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch’s associates have forged links with foreign gangs.

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch’s associates have forged links with foreign gangs.

Eddie Hutch

Eddie Hutch

Gareth Hutch’s funeral

Gareth Hutch’s funeral

David Byrne.

David Byrne.

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Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch’s associates have forged links with foreign gangs.

Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch left a cryptic message for gardai when they went to speak to him days after the murders of David Byrne and his brother Eddie Hutch.

The detectives had gone to his home in Clontarf to talk to him about the events at the Regency Hotel and to issue him with a Garda Information Message - a warning that his life was in danger.

At the kitchen table, The Monk listened with disdain as the officers tried to cajole him to work with them rather than against them, as they tried anything to avert the explosion of violence they feared would come.

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Eddie Hutch

Eddie Hutch

Eddie Hutch

Hutch slid a piece of paper on to the middle of the table and then excused himself to use the bathroom. On it were the initials 'DK', surrounded with more than 30 black crosses.

The legendary criminal refused to work with gardai and soon disappeared after the funeral of his beloved brother. Family events were cancelled and he quickly scooped up his nearest and dearest and moved them out of the country as the murders began.

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David Byrne.

David Byrne.

David Byrne.

His friends, Noel Duggan and Noel Kirwan, his nephews, Gareth Hutch and Derek Coakley Hutch, were among those picked out in the dirtiest feud Ireland has ever seen.

What was clear from the beginning was that it wasn't an even battle, and while Hutch had believed he had the loyalty of his community and neighbours, he soon realised he could trust nobody.

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Gareth Hutch’s funeral

Gareth Hutch’s funeral

Gareth Hutch’s funeral

Hutch was suffocating in grief but determined that he wouldn't roll over to his arch enemy Daniel Kinahan, who made his move to Dubai to a VIP seat to watch the action.

He needed an ally and believed that if he could muster support he had a chance to even up the playing pitch.

George 'the Penguin' Mitchell had been a figure of fun in Dublin for years with his waddling gait and his tendency to carry weight around his middle. But in the years since he had left Ireland, Mitchell had become a huge force on the international crime scene, with partners all over Europe and strong links to brutal Moroccan, Turkish and Colombian gangs.

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George ‘the Penguin’ Mitchell

George ‘the Penguin’ Mitchell

George ‘the Penguin’ Mitchell

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Mitchell had serious contacts abroad but he also had an army back in Ireland, and many of his top lieutenants were lifelong friends of the Hutch clan, with one married into the family.

Hutch was on his uppers when he went to Mitchell, cap in hand, looking for an alliance. His family was being slaughtered back in Dublin - his brothers, Patsy and Johnny, under huge and repeated threat, his loyal lieutenant James 'Mago' Gately and others had bounties on their heads and the powerful Kinahan mafia were paying blood money to anyone who would take it.

Mitchell eyed up The Monk and considered what he was being asked.

Empires

An alliance would be simple but Mitchell could have also gone to the Kinahans and tried to broker some peace. After all, he had existed side by side with Christy Kinahan in Spain and in the Netherlands where both men had built multi-million drug empires. Often, they had done business together and each had made it to the very top of Europe's drug trade without falling out.

"No," came Mitchell's response. "I'm staying out of it." While The Penguin sent word home that nobody was to help the Hutch gang and claimed neutrality in the feud, his decision swayed in favour of the Kinahans, giving them even more power against his old comrade The Monk.

Among his most senior lieutenants is Gerard Hopkins Snr - a lifelong associate of Mitchell who was jailed for false imprisonment and aggravated burglary. Hopkins was so close to the Hutch family that he even hosted a drunken Gerry Hutch as the guest of honour at his 50th birthday bash in Dublin. Old friendships were broken forever.

In the five years since the schism of the Irish underworld, The Monk has remained out of Ireland but his associates have made their own powerful partnerships in Europe after approaching foreign gangs and foraging drug routes into Northern Ireland and the UK. Sources say Hutch has gone into business ventures he always swore he would avoid in an effort to build his own war chest of funds.

Sources believe the Hutch faction has become a significant force in organised crime circles in Europe, and that The Monk has been based most of the time on mainland Spain - away from Marbella where his arch rivals still have key personnel.

He is understood to have travelled in and out of Lanzarote where he once had a yacht which he used for meetings and business affairs.

Collapse

While gardai slogged through the Regency investigation and saw their first trial collapse, The Monk was always aware that he would one day become a fugitive.

This week, as a European Arrest Warrant was issued for him, the wily crime lord was already in the breeze - tipped off in advance of the news breaking.

From the many digital platforms operated by his supporters and friends, his message is one of disdain for the State.

Wild allegations of garda collusion with the Kinahan mafia and stitch-ups show his state of mind and the enormous anger he feels that he is being targeted, while the man whose name was surrounded with the black crosses remains a free man.

But as one garda source said: "Murder is murder. Whether it is David Byrne or Eddie Hutch, the fact is they both died by a bullet because another human decided to murder them.

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The funeral cortege of Eddie Hutch

The funeral cortege of Eddie Hutch

The funeral cortege of Eddie Hutch

"And while many have a tendency to feel sympathy for the Monk you simply cannot have it both ways."


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