Gerry Hutch pal and boxing legend ‘Big Joe’ Egan says gardai should ‘leave him alone and let him live his life’
Boxing legend ‘Big Joe’ Egan says gardai hunting for his pal Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch should just “leave him alone and let him live his life”.
In an exclusive interview with The Star , the former Irish boxer and actor spoke candidly about his support for his “criminal mastermind” friend Gerry Hutch.
Hutch is now wanted on the foot of a European Arrest Warrant for the Regency Hotel murder of David Byrne.
But Mr Egan, who was also pals with the late Mr Byrne and with mob boss Daniel Kinahan, says the now infamous February 2016 gangland murder was “wrong on every level”.
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“David Byrne was my friend and I know his dad Jaws Byrne since I was a little boy. The thing is, to bring it into a boxing weigh-in, you know that was wrong on every level.
“When you spray a machine gun it’s an indiscriminate weapon. If you come in and fire a handgun you’re aiming at the target you’re going to hit.
“That room was full of boxing fans and boxers, so to go in and spray a machine-gun in a room full of people that weren’t involved in any criminal activity, that’s so wrong on so many levels. That’s taking it into depravity.”
In spite of that, Joe says he doesn’t want gardai to arrest ‘The Monk’ over the horrific murder — arguing that his old friend deserves to be left alone. T
“If he’s out of the country, leave him out of the country. Let him live his life,wherever he’s living his life.
“Leave him be, let him live life and hopefully him and his family, just leave them be,” he said.
‘Big Joe’ once launched his own book in Dublin alongside ‘The Monk’ — and famously brought boxer Mike Tyson into the capital with the notorious gangster, who drove them around the city in his Hummer in 2006.
Joe says he had been unaware that gardai had issued a European Arrest Warrant for Hutch, who he hasn’t spoken to in five years.
But he says it is no surprise to him that gardai want the criminal, who he describes as a “mastermind”, in connection with the Regency attack.
“Not really surprised by that to tell you the truth. As the feud goes on anybody with the name Hutch would obviously be involved in some shape or form because of a name.
“He just happens to be at the head of the tree, the top of the list of the Hutch family,” he said.
“So of course it’s all going to fall on his shoulders.”
But when asked if his good pal should hand himself over to gardai he said: “Oh I can’t comment on that. They think differently than we do. I’m a security man. I have done security all my life and I think from that point of view.
“They think different. Gerry Hutch is a criminal mastermind, so he would be thinking different than my way of thinking.”
When asked why his pal Hutch wouldn’t speak to gardai if he had nothing to do with the attack he added: “The gardai have no love for that man. The authorities in Ireland have no love for Gerry Hutch.
“Listen there’s a lot of corruption in Ireland at the highest levels.”
Joe says he is devastated over the loss of David Byrne, and says he believes the bloody Kinahan Hutch feud, which has claimed 18 lives, cannot be resolved through talking anymore.
“You know it’s tragic. A lot of lovely people were murdered through this feud. A lot of mothers brothers, sisters have suffered through this feud. It’s tragic.
“Surely whatever differences they had could have been sorted a lot different to the way it’s been sorted because mother’s brothers sisters and fathers and friends have suffered on both sides of the feud.
“There’s a war going on with two factions. It’s gone beyond talking now. There has been too much bloodshed.”
But Joe refuses to lay blame on his pal ‘The Monk,’ in spite of the fact he believes the Byrne family deserve justice.
“I don’t wish any bad on him, because he’s my friend. In the same way I don’t wish any bad on the Kinahans, because they’re my friends too.
“I have a lot of friends in boxing — you could be sitting next to a surgeon, you could be sitting next to a politician, you could be sitting next to a criminal.
“That’s the attraction of boxing you know? There’s always been an underworld in boxing and there always will be,” he added.
He also spoke about his friendship with mob boss Daniel Kinahan — who he argues has been a saviour for boxing.
“Daniel has done so much for boxing. Even for the sport, he lives for the sport he doesn’t live off the sport.
“There’s a lot of parasites living off boxing and boxers. They use boxers as pieces of meat. Daniel Kinahan doesn’t treat boxers like pieces of meat. He treats them as athletes and as human beings, and I can only admire the man in that respect.”
But he says he does know of Kinahan’s gangland links: “Daniel Kinahan, to me I won’t say anything bad about the man because I respect him.
“Yes I know what he’s capable of in his world, but I am only talking about the boxing world, and to me, he’s good for the sport,” he said.
Joe says he believes ‘The Monk’ is in pain after the death of his brother Eddie Hutch three days after the Regency incident — and he says that hurt has affected his thinking in the years that followed.
“They think different than me. They are all going through sadness. Gerry has lost family members, his brother — and you don’t know what way he’s thinking because his heart is obviously [broken].
“He’s not immune to physical or emotional pain. The same as Daniel is not immune to pain. David Byrne was Daniel’s best friend.”
In spite of everything Joe says he hopes one day the feud can come to an end.
“Of course the Byrne family deserve justice. When a life is taken it’s sad and especially in the way it was taken. I think it’s heartbreaking to tell you the truth. Hopefully some day it might end.”