Hutch family wants violence to stop, says priest

Funeral Mass for Eddie Hutch to take place at Seán McDermott Street church on Friday

The funeral of David Byrne (33), from Crumlin, taking place in Dublin last Monday

The funeral of David Byrne (33), from Crumlin, taking place in Dublin last Monday

 

The family of murder victims Eddie and Gary Hutch wants the spiral of violence that has claimed their lives to stop, a priest who has spoken on their behalf in the past has said.

Fr Richard Ebejer, of Seán McDermott Street parish in Dublin 1, said when he concelebrated the funeral Mass of Gary Hutch last October, both he and the dead man’s family had appealed for no retaliation for his shooting dead in Spain a fortnight earlier.

While Eddie Hutch had since been shot dead, losing his life last week in what appeared to be a related attack, Fr Ebejer said Hutch family members he had spoken to in recent days wanted peace.

“At the time the family were very clear,” Fr Ebejer said of last October’s funeral for Gary Hutch.

“They did not want retaliation and unfortunately that was not respected.

“The desire is still that all of this spiral of violence would stop. I would be underlining that at [Eddie Hutch’s] funeral.”

Reasons for violence

Asked if he felt tensions could be reduced, he replied he was not fully in touch with the reasons behind the gun violence that had claimed the lives of two Hutch family members.

“As a church we are there to be close to the people.

“And I do notice things like devotees coming and lighting more candles at the church, this kind of thing.

“There is an underlying anxiety in the community, and in the church [parishioners] find a source of comfort and reassurance.”

Fr Ebejer added that for many of the people of the inner city parish, events such as funerals, month’s minds and anniversaries were very significant.

“Obviously the funeral will be a very significant moment for them,” he said of Eddie Hutch’s funeral.

Fr Ebejer added the Hutch family had requested privacy and for that reason he had no role in confirming funeral details, nor was he speaking for the family when he made his other comments.

However, Garda sources said it was expected Eddie Hutch’s funeral Mass would take place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Seán McDermott Street on Friday, followed by his burial later that day.

A major security operation, like that seen around the funeral on Monday of Gary Hutch’s rival David Byrne, was expected to be put in place.

The gun murder of Gary Hutch (34) near Marbella last September was believed to have been carried out by members of a major drugs gang based in Spain and led from there by Dubliner Christy Kinahan.

That gang accused Gary Hutch of being an informer and killed him for that reason.

No revenge

Despite his mother, Kay Hutch, appealing at his funeral for no revenge attacks, a group of armed men stormed a boxing tournament weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin last Friday week.

The gunmen were believed to be associates of Gary Hutch, intent on shooting members of the Kinahan gang who were at the weigh-in.

While Kinahan’s son Daniel Kinahan escaped, David Byrne (33), from Crumlin, was shot dead. Three days later, when 59-year-old father-of-five Eddie Hutch was shot at his home on Poplar Row, Dublin, associates of Byrne’s emerged as the chief suspects.

Gardaí are hopeful Eddie Hutch’s funeral will pass off peacefully and that it will be a lower key event than Byrne’s.

Hutch was the brother of senior criminal figure Gerry Hutch, who is thought to have left the country in recent days.