Taoiseach speaks out on return of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch to Ireland to face Regency Hotel charge
‘The gardai have been relentless
Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said the return of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch to Ireland will be “very secure” and has praised gardai for their commitment in their fight against crime.
Mr Martin also said young people need to be encouraged to stay away from criminal activity, stating “there is no life worthwhile in the criminal world.”
The Monk is being flown back to Ireland from Madrid on Wednesday evening to face court proceedings in connection with the gun attack at the Regency Hotel five years ago.
The 58-year-old was arrested on the Costa Del Sol last month on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by the High Court.
When asked what he would say to communities who may be fearful of Hutch’s return sparking further violence or revenge attacks, Mr Martin he is “fully confident” in gardai and the State.
He said: “First of all I think the gardai have been extremely effective in cracking down on gangland crime.
“The gardai have been relentless
“The resources will continue to be provided to the gardai to crackdown on gangland crime and I would be fully confident in the capacity of the State and An Garda Síochána and other agencies as a State, CAB [Criminal Assets Bureau], and so on, to keep the pressure on and to say to people there is no life worthwhile in the criminal world and you need to encourage younger people who might be lured or intimidated to think otherwise.
“But essentially that we’re very clear in terms of the State response to this and I do believe that in terms of the security of the extradition process and the return of the individual concerned, that that will be very secure.”
The Taoiseach said he does not want to preempt the outcome of any trial but told the Irish Mirror: “I think it’s important that the extradition process illustrates the very close co-operation now at European level between all Member States in terms of ensuring that the wheels of justice move and do so in a seamless and flawless way.
“So I think that’s something to be noted in terms of what happened.”
When asked if he agreed with the Spanish authorities decision to concede to a request by Gerry Hutch to be transferred back to Spain to serve any sentence which might be imposed by the Special Criminal Court, Mr Martin said he would not interfere in the judicial process.
He added: “I’m not going to interfere in terms of the judicial process.
“There’s a strong belief in the separation of powers but what’s important is, we work now in a European wide situation and we work collaboratively as Member States to make sure that those who need to go before our courts, to answer and go to trial, and that happens and that cooperation is evident and it has been in this case.”