Release of two criminals poses ‘complex’ security risks, say gardaí

Brian Rattigan due to get out on Tuesday and Derek Hutch freed from prison on Saturday

Brian Rattigan (left) and Derek Hutch were in dispute with Dublin-based members of the Kinahan cartel before being imprisoned.

The release of two criminals, both at odds with Dublin-based members of the Kinahan cartel, poses challenges and creates a “complex” security threat in parts of the city, according to senior Garda officers.

Brian Rattigan (41), from Drimnagh, was due for release from Portlaoise Prison Tuesday.

Derek “Del Boy” Hutch, a 35-year-old from the north inner city, was freed from Wheatfield Prison, Dublin, on Saturday.

Hutch is a nephew of Gerry Hutch, the veteran criminal also known as the The Monk. And some of his family members and associates have been involved in a feud with the Kinahan cartel for the last six years.


That feud has to date cost 18 lives, mostly in Ireland, and gardaí are concerned for Derek Hutch's safety as he is one of a small number of Hutch family members regarded as being most at risk from the Kinahan cartel. Derek Hutch's brother, Gary Hutch (35), was murdered by the cartel in Spain in 2015 and his father, Patsy Hutch, has 24-hour Garda protection outside his home such is the extreme threat to his life.

Derek Hutch was sentenced to 16 years for his role in an attempted robbery of a cash in transit van in Lucan, Co Dublin, in 2009 during which one of his associates was shot dead by the Garda.

Hutch had also committed other serious crimes before the attempted robbery. Several of his sentences overlapped as some of his convictions – including for a stabbing manslaughter in Co Meath in 2007 and for a separate firearms possession charge – were secured while he was already in prison.

Gardaí said the presence of Derek Hutch in Dublin may prompt an attempt on his life by the same people who murdered his brother and who have tried to kill his father on several occasions.

“The feud has been much calmer for a long time, but the reappearance of someone [like Derek Hutch] is something you’d always have to be careful of as things could kick off very quickly again,” said one source, adding there is heightened “security and vigilance” around the Hutch family.

Rattigan in jail for 18 years

Rattigan has been in prison for 18 years following a manslaughter conviction and also a conviction for directing a €1 million drug deal from his prison cell. Rattigan fatally stabbed Declan Gavin (21) in Crumlin in August, 2001. That killing sparked a gun feud, the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, which went on for a decade and claimed 15 lives.

Some of the men on the opposing side of the feud went on to become key players in the Kinahan cartel’s Dublin operation. Gardaí believe the threat posed to Rattigan from those men is much lower than that posed to Hutch.

However, they are still concerned about the impact Rattigan’s release may have in Crumlin and Drimnagh as many of his enemies when he was jailed are still active in organised crime and are now more powerful.

Rattigan told the courts in recent years he was a changed man and intended to remain law abiding when released. He was initially convicted of murder though that was successfully appealed and he was eventually convicted of manslaughter.

He was jailed for nine years in January 2019 and would have been freed at that time but for his involvement in drug dealing from prison, for which he was jailed for 17 years, backdated to 2008.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times