‘Everyone was delighted…He’s a lovely, lovely man’ : Dublin inner city residents on Hutch verdict
People say they are pleased for ‘very, very well-liked’ former neighbour who supported local boxing club and ran parties for ‘old folks’
Wed Apr 19 2023 – 06:36
Reaction in Dublin’s north inner city to Gerard Hutch’s acquittal has been overwhelmingly positive, with locals pleased that a “very, very well-liked man” has avoided prison.
Older people, in particular, around Buckingham Street, Foley Street and Sean McDermott Street, where Hutch grew up, described him and his family as “lovely”, and cited the “good” he had done for young people and “the old folks” of the area.
Many, when approached by The Irish Times on Tuesday, did not wish to get into a conversation about Hutch. But all who did were happy with the Special Criminal Court verdict of not guilty to the charge of the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in February 2016.
One woman in her late 50s walking on Summerhill Parade said it was a “a great thing” as Hutch “wasn’t involved”.
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“He had absolutely nothing to do with that. The dogs in the street know that. He wasn’t even in the country. But they’ve been out to get him, dying to get him since the Brinks robbery,” she said, referring to his alleged involvement in the 1995 robbery of £2.8 million from the Brinks Allied depot in Dublin.
“And the state of the poor man coming out [of the court] yesterday. I says to myself when I seen that: ‘He’ll go and get a nice haircut and his beard shaved off and he’ll be grand’.
“He is very, very well liked, very good to the old folks. He gave them all a Christmas party every year in the [local community] hall – drink, food, bands everything.
“Everyone was delighted with the verdict. He is a lovely, lovely man. The way it is, he done what he done but it was never out of my pocket. He didn’t sell drugs. I say, just leave him now.”
Expressing a fear his life may be targeted, she added: “It’s just these f**kers now. I hope they don’t get their hands on him. A few people have said that there probably will be trouble. It’s the younger generation of everybody who is doing it, and it’s what they’re on that is making them do it. They are on that crack cocaine and murdering people.”
A woman with a walking frame and a hearing aid, in her late 60s, on Sean McDermott Street, said the verdict was “good”, adding Hutch “looked after everybody”. She had been “born and reared with him” and her family lived in a flat above the Hutch family.
Asked what he was like as a child, she said: “He was a bit wild but he settled down after a while. There was something about the family – a very good family. I went to school with his sisters. The father, Patrick, worked on the docks. The mother, Julia, and the father was always there for the whole lot of them. You won’t get anyone around here to say anything bad about them.
“Gerard is very polite. No matter where he is or who he’s with, if he sees anyone from the inner city he goes over and talks to them. That’s why everyone liked him, and Patsy, and Johnny and poor Eddie,” she said referring to Hutch’s brothers.
Eddie Hutch (59) was shot dead in February 2016 – among the first of 18 people to be murdered in the Hutch-Kinahan feud that spiralled after the murder of Byrne. “That was terrible for Eddie. He was into it all a bit but after he got the taxi plate he wasn’t into anything.
“This area has a bad name but I wouldn’t move out of it. If you gave me a lovely castle somewhere I wouldn’t move. We have good neighbours and the drugs is the only problem. The gang that go around here with the drugs, they mostly don’t even live around here.”
A man in his 30s on Buckingham Street said the verdict was “fair”. Agreeing Hutch was well regarded, he said the now-closed Corinthians boxing club that Hutch founded “helped a lot of young people”. Echoing many, he added: “He never sold drugs. He never took drugs. As far as I’m concerned, everything is good about that man.”
Two women pushing buggies laden with groceries on Summerhill Parade described Hutch as “really nice”. Both hoped there would be no return to the violence the feud brought to the area between 2016 and 2019. “It’s our kids who are the victims of all that.” Asked what people wanted for their children, one said swiftly: “The best. The best – it’s not a lot to ask for.”
Shortly after lunchtime, several men in the late 50s and 60s were having pints in a pub at the corner of Buckingham Street and North Strand. They were “delighted” with the verdict.
“He deserved it after all the injustices that were done to his family,” said one.
“We’re all very happy here about it,” said another. Asked why, he said: “Because we detest the Government. They should be able to stop all this, stop all the drugs. They aren’t doing their job. It’s their job to stop the drugs.”
Another said of Hutch: “He is a gentleman. There was a celebration here yesterday.” Expressing doubt that a journalist would report their negative view of the Government, he added: “All you reporters are ‘yes’ men for the Government. You all call Hutch a gangster.
“Them up in Leinster House, they are legalised gangsters. They are corrupt, they do nothing for people around here. And they are getting away with it. Hutch was a gentleman. Never took drugs, never dealt in drugs and only ever helped his community.”