Eddie Hutch funeral: Family calls for no retaliation

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch among the mourners at the funeral service in Dublin

 

Mourners at Eddie Hutch’s funeral Mass in Dublin have been told that there should not be any retaliation for his murder.

About 800 family, friends and many residents of the socially deprived and drug-wracked inner city attended the mass. Among them was Gerry “The Monk” Hutch, Eddie Hutch’s brother.

There was none of the air of gangland menace that attended funeral earlier this week of David Byrne.

Uniformed gardaí were in prominent positions around the church. Heavily armed colleagues from the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) were more discreet but visible as they patrolled Seán McDermott Street in Dublin 1.

As the funeral procession arrived at the church, Hutch’s coffin was carried aloft up the street, a somewhat incongruous taxi sign placed on top of the wooden casket.

It was just one token of Hutch’s life brought to the altar during the funeral mass.

The others included a bottle of sun tan oil and a bottle of lager, together with a picture of the late Eddie Hutch.

A slide show of his life which was played during the service showed ordinary family images and laddish times of fun, the sort of images that fill a million Facebook albums.

The gospel of the day was from Matthew. It was the part where the faithful are urged not to kill.

Speaking at the mass in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Fr Ebejer said vengeful violence “only degrades the humanity of those who carry it out”.

He pleaded for an end to the cycle of violence that has blighted the city in recent weeks, saying the Hutch family had, from the beginning, asked there be no retaliation for the murder of Eddie Hutch or, Gary Hutch who was killed last October.

“It was a request that unfortunately has not been respected; with the result that now more families are in bereavement. They now call on everybody for this cycle of violence to stop, and to stop now,” said Fr Ebejer.

He described Eddie Hutch as “basically a good man, who as a taxi driver, waited on elderly ladies as they did their errands.

He would share a good joke and was the life of a party, and he was good company in the pub. He did not deserve to die in this manner.”

Fr Ebejer reminded the congregation of Archbishop Martin’s recent words that “every victim is some mother’s son”.

He also reiterated the Archbishop’s view in saying that mothers and grandmothers are “persons of wisdom who can appeal to the conscience of those involved to change their ways”.

The father-of-five was buried at Glasnevin Cemetery.

Armed gardaí patrolled the funeral as part of a heightened policing operation that has been in place since the fatal shooting at the Regency Hotel.

Mr Hutch was shot dead at his home on Poplar Row, Dublin 1, last Monday week. Detectives believe he was murdered in revenge for the killing of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel , who they regarded as a significant gangland figure.

Unlike Byrne, Eddie Hutch was not involved in serious crime and gardaí believe he was singled out simply because he was a member of the Hutch family.

Mr Hutch was waked at his sister’s home on Portland Row in the inner city on Thursday night.

There was a heavy Garda presence on Portland Row on Thursday as people came in their droves to pay their respects to the Hutch family. A short distance either side of the terraced house, two groups of uniformed gardaí watched on.

Many arrived carrying flowers. Some time later, a van arrived and two men unloaded more flowers and wreaths. One of the wreaths read “grandad”.

As residents on the busy street looked out from their homes, armed gardaí from the ERU could be seen patrolling the street with holstered pistols and assault rifles in hand.

Undercover detectives maintained a discreet surveillance of proceedings.

There were also several Garda vans on the street and motorists were stopped and spoken to at each junction leading on to the street.

The policing operation around the Byrne and Hutch funerals represents the first time in the history of gang feuding in the Republic that funerals have been treated by gardaí as a potential target for attack, although detectives are hopeful Friday’s proceedings will pass without incident.

Detectives investigating the death of Hutch are liaising with police in Spain. Byrne was part of the drugs gang whose leadership, including convicted drug dealer Christy Kinahan, is based on the Costa del Sol.

Last September when Hutch’s nephew Gary (34) was shot dead in Spain, the Kinahan gang emerged as the only suspects.

Associates of Gary Hutch are believed to have been behind the attack by a group of armed men on a boxing weigh-in at which Byrne was shot dead and two other men were wounded at the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra.