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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 24 May, 2016

‘He was killed because he was a soft target. He is a victim’ – Shock and sadness at murder of Eddie Hutch

Locals have spoken of crime in their area, and how they feel gardaí are powerless to change it.

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Updated 6.50pm

LOCALS LIVING AROUND Poplar Row, where Eddie Hutch was shot dead last night, have described him as a good man who was not heavily involved in the gangland scene.

It was quiet in the area this morning as people went about daily tasks, starting their commute to work and bringing their children to school. Some were only finding out there had been a murder as they passed by the cordon and asked the garda stationed there what was going on.

A father-of-five, someone who had lived in their community for a long time, had been shot dead in his home.

One local, who did not wish to be named, described Hutch, who worked as a taxi driver, as “a decent guy”, adding that he was “definitely outside criminality”.

The 59-year-old brother of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch was not known to gardaí as a violent criminal. He had minor crimes against his name but was not currently active in the criminal or gangland scene.

One of his taxi customers, Daniel Doran, told TheJournal.ie that ‘Hutch was also a friend.

“He was a great taxi driver and a good man. He worked the rank on Parnell Street and would drive myself and my wife hundreds of times, many early trips in the morning to the airport.

“He always had a smile for everyone and even though we knew his brother was involved in criminality, we also knew Hutch (as we always called him) wasn’t.

He was ashamed of the criminality his name was associated with and didn’t speak of it.

“He was killed because he was a soft target. He is a victim, and I hope his murderer is brought to justice. He was a wonderful person.”

Doran said he would tell his Russian wife to ask for Hutch at the rank “because she knew as a woman alone in the car with him that he could not only be trusted but would make sure she got to the destination and in the door”.

He was better than a decent man, he was good man. I miss him dearly. I am saddened by this, I feel so bad for his children. He was a victim and I hope his murderers will be found and prosecuted with the fullest extent of the law.

Gary Gannon, a local general election candidate for the Social Democrats, grew up in the area and was at the scene this morning.

He said there was a “genuine sadness” and “a definite sense of fear” in the community.

The victim last night, he wasn’t known to be involved in any sort of criminality, he’s been around the north inner city for a long time.

Despite the picture now being portrayed of who Eddie Hutch Senior was, he became a victim in the escalating feud between the Hutch and Kinahan gangs. Many have suggested his door was knocked down last night because he was such a soft or easy target.

‘A changed world’

Local woman Kitty Behan spoke, as she waited for her bus, about “a changed world”.

It’s terrible to think they can just come out and shoot someone.

She did not know the victim, and like others in the area, she is not exactly surprised by the retaliation shooting.

Kitty is used to seeing crime around where she lives.

“You wouldn’t know what these fellas are up to. Up on the bridge, there’d be a lot of fellas selling [drugs] up there. One day last week the fellas were like a flock of pigeons, buying the drugs off them. Police can’t do anything about it, all they can do is take the drugs off them.”

Similarly, another man spoke of being mugged twice in the vicinity in the past.

“If they want to go off and kill each other, work away,” he commented, as he stood at the scene.

While everyone spoke of criminal activity in the area, they all stressed that this was not indicative of the type of people who lived there.

Gannon described it as an “incredibly decent working-class community where people work hard”.

And Kitty Behan was matter-of-fact about it: “No matter where you’re living, it’s all the same anyway. Sometimes it’s just bad luck.”

Read: Eddie Hutch shooting condemned as sign of “despicable inhumanity”

More: ‘Nothing substantive’ in rumours about shots being fired in Tallaght 

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