It was something that no one who had monitored his 30-odd years as a criminal godfather would have contemplated a year ago: the prospect of Gerry Hutch’s reign coming to an end thanks to an assassin’s gun.
The murder of his nephew Gary last year sparked a gangland feud which led to the audacious attack on the Regency Hotel last week which was quickly avenged last night with the murder of his brother Eddie.
Despite the soft image Gerry Hutch has tried to paint as the retired worldly-wise villain, he is considered to be what the Mafia like to call a man of respect.
No one would ever dare cross that gangland Rubicon and strike against anyone bearing the name Hutch – but that protective screen has been well and truly shattered with the hitman’s gun.
The falling-out between former close associates, Gerry Hutch and Christy Kinahan – the two undisputed strong-men of organised crime – is Ireland’s equivalent of an all-out war between Sicilian Mafia Dons.
Gerry Hutch, under his bizarre sobriquet The Monk, has been synonymous with organised crime since the 1980s when he masterminded the biggest cash heist in history of the State.
In 1987 aged 24 he made his name in the underworld hierarchy after his crew stole €1.6 million from a security van in Marino Mart on Dublin’s northside.
The spectacular heist catapulted The Monk into the big league along the likes of John Gilligan, George ‘The Penguin’ Mitchell and Martin Cahill, the General.
In 1995 Hutch and his gang again made the gangland history books when they were the prime suspects for the robbery of €3.5 million in a daring heist from a cash holding facility in north county Dublin.
The money was later laundered through construction projects at the beginning of the country’s building boom.
Despite several investigations and arrests, Gerry Hutch managed to escape prosecution although he was forced to pay CAB more than €1.5 million to satisfy a tax demand based on his substantial criminal wealth.
Hutch remained one of the country’s best-known criminal godfathers and gardaí considered the fact that he was never been singled out for a gun attack as evidence of his standing in the underworld – until now that is.