Criminal Edward Hutch urged to donate 'Winning Streak' cash to charity
A leading charity for the victims of crime has suggested that a well-known criminal due to appear on Winning Streak should consider compensating some of his victims with his winnings.
The Herald revealed yesterday that Edward Hutch, who has 189 convictions for a range of crimes including theft, is due to appear on the TV game show this weekend.
The north inner city criminal is a nephew of former crime boss Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.
Director of services at Support After Crime, Sally Hanlon, said Hutch should consider using his potential winnings to do some good.
"With his winnings he might consider using them to restore the harm [he might have caused].
"He has that option now," she told the Herald. "He might decide to make a donation to a victims' charity."
She noted that while his appearance could not be stopped by RTE or the National Lottery it was likely to "infuriate" victims of crime.
"People who are victims of crime have to receive restoration for the harm that is done," Ms Hanlon said.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein's spokesperson on Justice Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said that he had "sympathy" for RTE because they were in something of a quandary when it came to allowing criminals appear on their game shows.
"It'll leave something of a sour taste in the mouth in terms of the public perception, but in fairness to RTE I'm not aware of any legislation on this. Their hands are tied," he said.
"You have to find a balance between the need to protect the public and civil rights.
"What stands out more is that when someone has been convicted that amount of times, then we have a massive problem with our justice system.
"If someone has been in that amount of times and hadn't been rehabilitated it's a problem," he said.
Hutch is due to appear alongside hosts Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy as the show returns on Saturday night after a short mid-season break.
He, or a player he appoints on his behalf, will be one of five contestants who will stand a chance of winning up to €500,000 on the show.
There will also be a range of holidays and cars up for grabs on the show.
Following Hutch's latest appearance in Dublin's District Court, he was found not guilty of assaulting a prison officer in 2012 by reason of insanity.
A consultant psychiatrist said that Hutch believed his uncle and his dad were trying to turn him into a woman by spiking his methadone in prison.