Hundreds gather to support Hutch family at Dublin vigil

Inner-city event remembered Derek Coakley-Hutch, latest Kinahan feud victim

Hundreds of people gathered in north inner city Dublin on Thursday night for a vigil in memory of the latest victim of the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Family members, friends and neighbours of Derek Coakley-Hutch met outside Seán McDermott Street Church and, in scenes reminiscent of the anti-drugs marches of the 1980s and 1990s, walked, many with arms linked, down the street.

They stopped at the eight-foot high bronze flame sculpture - entitled Home - on the traffic island where Buckingham Street and Killarney Street meet.

The sculpture by Leo Higgins was erected in the late 1990s and is a permanent memorial to those from the area who died from HIV, AIDS or heroin overdoses.

A crowd of about 600 people, much larger than gardaí had expected in advance, took part in the vigil.

Those present gathered around the sculpture for some 20 minutes and sang You'll Never Walk Alone - the 1960s hit by Gerry and the Pacemakers which has become the anthem of Coakley-Hutch's favourite football team, Liverpool.

Using a portable stereo, the crowd also played Dance With My Father Again by Luther Vandross. It was chosen apparently to mark the fact that Coakley-Hutch's father, Derek Hutch, had predeceased him.

A brother of veteran criminal Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch, Derek Hutch Snr died by suicide nine years ago, aged 44.

Sky lanterns

Many in the crowd carried candles but efforts to launch Chinese sky lanterns were scuppered by the breeze, before some were discarded to burn out on the pavement. People in the crowd sang along and shouted “Go on Del” as the music was played.

Gardaí on bicycles and in marked vehicles maintained a presence on the fringes of the gathering and closed off the surrounding streets to traffic.

The event passed off peacefully with some in the crowd in tears and offering support to the dead man’s family.

Coakley-Hutch (27), a father-of-two, was shot dead on the Bridgeview halting site adjacent to Cloverhill Prison in west Dublin last Saturday.

His mother, Noeleen Coakley-Hutch, was among those who attended the vigil. She remained in the centre of the crowd at all times, being shielded by those around her from photographers. When the event concluded she ran, surrounded by a number of men, across the street and into her home.

A number of local people who spoke to The Irish Times said the media had not been invited to the event. They said it was being held as a sign of support for the Hutch family.

One local man said people from the area were “exhausted from the attacks”.

Locals, he said, were upset that many of the victims were not involved in feuding or organised crime.

Four Hutchs - cousins Gary (34), Gareth (35) and Derek (27) and their uncle Eddie (59) - have now lost their lives in the feud. The violence has to date seen 14 men killed, with all but two of the attacks carried out by the international Kinahan drugs cartel.

The dispute began with the murder of Gary Hutch in September, 2015; a onetime member of the Kinahan gang who fell afoul of it.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times