Tuesday 20 August 2019

'Coping with these losses required superhuman effort' - funeral of Gerry Hutch's older brother, Johnny, hears

The coffin of John Hutch is shouldered to the Church of the Holy Family, Aughrim Street in Dublin.
The coffin of John Hutch is shouldered to the Church of the Holy Family, Aughrim Street in Dublin.
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The funeral of John Hutch, who died after falling down the stairs at his city home last week, has been held amid a tight garda presence in his native Dublin.

Johnny was the brother of senior crime figure Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch. In 2016 both his brother Eddie and son Gareth were shot dead as the feud between the Hutch and Kinahan families escalated violently in the wake of the Regency Hotel murder of Kinahan kingpin David Byrne.

John Hutch
John Hutch

Johnny (66), who had no involvement in crime, has also lost his nephews Gary and Derek to the feud which made him a prisoner in own home as his life came under threat in the murderous feud.

The former taxi driver, who also had to give up work because of the threats, fell down the stairs at his home in the Drumalee estate off the North Circular Road on Tuesday of last week and died from his injuries on Thursday.

He had been celebrating the birthday of his wife Vera.

A large number of female members of the Hutch family, including his wife and daughters, walked ahead of his coffin today as it was carried the short distance from John’s home to the Church of the Holy Family on Aughrim Street.

Mourners carry a picture of John Hutch after his funeral at the Church of the Holy Family, Aughrim Street this morning ..Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Mourners carry a picture of John Hutch after his funeral at the Church of the Holy Family, Aughrim Street this morning ..Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
The coffin of John Hutch is shouldered to the Church of the Holy Family, Aughrim Street in Dublin
The coffin of John Hutch is shouldered to the Church of the Holy Family, Aughrim Street in Dublin.

A piper led the funeral procession.

Symbols brought to that altar to represent his life included a can of Guinness, a bottle of 7-Up, an orange, a bag of crisps, a newspaper and his phone.

“The last week has been a traumatic week and the end of a traumatic time for John’s family,” said Fr Paddy Madden, who conducted mass.

In his homily he said the sudden death of John Hutch is a devastating blow to his family in which he was provider and protector for many years.

“His capacity to provide was severely restricted by totally unwarranted and wholly unjustified threats to his life and an attempted assassination literally in his own backyard,” he told the mourners.

“I’m struck particularly by Johnny’s own resilience and steadfastness, particularly shown after the deaths of his son Gareth and brother Eddie within the space of a few months just a few years ago.

"Coping with these losses required superhuman effort as it does for all the family.

"Johnny carried his grief silently and sadly , and I’m sure he was utterly bewildered, for him it was deeply personal,” he added.

"The support he received, particularly from Vera, was essential, as indeed all the family rallying together,” Fr Madden explained.

Armed gardai patrolled the streets around the church as the funeral was held.

The church was also searched by gardai prior to the funeral.

There was no obvious sign of John’s brother Gerry Hutch, or of his nephew Patrick Hutch who was this year acquitted on a charge of murder in relation the the Regency Hotel shooting in 2016.

Fr Madden made reference to the fact that some family members could not be present, and asked that they be remembered in prayers.

A son in law gave a tribute to John Hutch at the end of the mass.

He said that last September the family were away on holiday in Lanzarote and he had got into a conversation about funerals with Johnny.

He said that his father in law had expressed a wish to have a poem read aloud at his own funeral, and he obliged with a poem including the lines “You think I’m gone, that I am dead, that life has lost its will, but look around, I’m right there, living with you still.”

“I watch your tears, I feel your pain, I see the things you do. I weep as well each time you cry, my soul that lives with you.”

After funeral mass his coffin was brought to Glasnevin cemetery where he was buried with his son Gareth.

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