I got rich from property not crime, claims The Monk
Convicted criminal Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch has finally admitted to his involvement in crime -- but denies having a hand in two of the biggest robberies in the history of the State.
In an interview to be broadcast tonight, Hutch describes himself as a "convicted criminal".
"Yeah, I done crimes, some of them I got away with," Hutch said in an interview to be broadcast on RTE's Prime Time. "Oh yes I am a convicted criminal, yes I know that, but not a convicted armed robber, not a convicted hitman, you know. No, no convicted drug dealer, no, I'm not."
In the interview Hutch, who now runs a Hummer limousine service, is asked about his alleged involvement in the Marino Mart and Clonshaugh robberies, two of the biggest heists in Irish history.
He also discusses his IR£1.2m settlement with the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), claiming it was down to "tax evasion", but insists that he made his money from shrewd property deals even though many suspected his millions were made from a life of crime.
Prior to his settlement, CAB chiefs said they investigated IR£4m which they suspected was the proceeds of criminal activity.
CAB investigations included the Marino robbery in January 1997, where £1.7m was stolen, and the Clonshaugh robbery in January 1996, when over £3m was taken from a security depot.
Hutch says the settlement was due to his "ignorance" about the State's tax laws.
He added: "That's why I paid them that. It's a crime so they are probably taxing me on that type of crime. But they didn't take money off me from security van robberies and say, 'we want tax out of that'. I don't care what they believe to be honest," Hutch said. "But what can I say? If everyone believes I done it, hands up. I didn't do them. That's all I can say."
But Det Chief Supt John O' Mahoney, who is the head of CAB, tells Prime Time that a tax clearance certificate "is not a certificate of innocence".
"We tax the proceeds of crime," he said.
The interview with RTE's Paul Reynolds was filmed at the Corinthians boxing club in Dublin's city centre, where "The Monk" is now a coach.
Hutch had originally wanted to appear on the 'Late Late Show' but RTE turned him down and directed him to their flagship current affairs show instead. Hutch had claimed he wanted to do the interview to "clear his name" and prove that he really was on "the straight and narrow".
It is understood that he particularly wanted to stress his claims that he no involvement in the illegal drugs trade. It is believed that Hutch wanted to put his side of the story across in response to the TV3 'Dirty Money' series on the CAB by crime journalist Paul Williams.