A major investigation into Dubliner Gerry Hutch and the alleged passing of confidential Garda information to him is focused on trying to bring criminal charges of directing or aiding a crime gang.
Mr Hutch (59) is currently awaiting a verdict from the Special Criminal Court over the 2016 Regency Hotel murder of Kinahan cartel associate David Byrne (33) and is the chief suspect in the separate inquiry.
Detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), the force’s serious crimes squad, are investigating Mr Hutch over allegations he directed a crime gang. Part of that inquiry is aimed at establishing if confidential information held by the force was, as is suspected, passed to him.
Former superintendent John Murphy (62) was last week arrested in the Midlands Prison, Portlaoise, where he is serving a 6½ year sentence for possessing cannabis. He is being investigated on suspicion of aiding the Hutch crime gang. He was taken to a Garda station for questioning and returned to prison later that day.
Mr Hutch was arrested last September, just days before his trial for the Regency murder was about to start, at Wheatfield Prison, Dublin. He was questioned at a Garda station in the city and then returned to his cell on the same day.
[ Former supt John Murphy had reputation as ‘loose’ operator in Garda ]
Gardaí are investigating if Murphy was effectively harvesting information from serving members and then passing it on to the Hutch gang, giving it vital insight into ongoing investigations into the crime group.
A number of serving gardaí suspected of passing information to their former colleague Murphy were suspended from the force in 2021 as inquiries into the allegations continued. However, it is understood they have strongly denied any wrongdoing.
Gardaí in September 2021 called to the home of Murphy in Clontarf, Dublin, and carried out searches. While they were investigating allegations that Murphy was gleaning information from within the force and passing it to the Hutch gang, a search of his home and car on the day unexpectedly yielded hundreds of thousands of euro of cannabis.
Murphy was charged with possession of cannabis – valued at just under €260,000 – and, after pleading guilty, was convicted and sentenced last October. The court was told Murphy was a functioning alcoholic, a condition which clouded his judgment, and that he had made several investments that failed since his retirement from the Garda just over a decade ago. The court concluded Murphy was storing the drugs in return for financial gain.
[ State concludes case against Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch and two co-accused in Regency trial ]
However, the initial investigation into allegations confidential Garda information was passed to the gang has continued. It is now nearing completion and could result in charges against Mr Hutch for allegedly directing a crime gang and possibly against Murphy for allegedly aiding a gang.
Mr Hutch remains on remand in prison pending the outcome of his 13-week trial for the murder of Byrne in an attack linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud. Mr Hutch, who denies the murder of Byrne, must wait until April 17th at the latest for a verdict after the trial concluded two weeks ago.