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Priest at Gareth Hutch funeral asks feuding families to 'seek peace and not disaster'

Doves were released as mourners gathered at the church in north Dublin.

THE FUNERAL OF Gareth Hutch, the seventh victim in the recent gangland war, today heard a call for the two sides to “seek peace and not disaster”.

3/6/2016 Gareth Hutch Funeral. Mourners arrive for Source: Rollingnews.ie

Hutch, 35, was shot dead outside his home in the Avondale House flat complex on Dublin’s North Cumberland Street last week.

Hundreds gathered once again today to say their goodbyes – Gareth is the third member of the Hutch family to be gunned down by members of the Kinahan gang.

The coffin was carried by both men and women, family and friends of the Hutches. His son Preston carried a framed photo of father out at the front of the procession.

Mourners walked with the hearse behind a piper and doves were released as they arrived at the Holy Family Church on Aughrim Street.

‘Be Not Afraid’ was sang as they were welcomed into the church.

Fr Paddy Madden described Gareth was a “young man taken in his prime”.

He noted how his parents had, nearly 36 years ago, carried him to the same church and were now bringing him back to say farewell. 

The service then heard of the “fear, pain, grief, anguish and bewilderment” experienced by the family.

“We have here parents mourning their child, a painful reality, numbed by grief and sadness. A mother – who cherished her son and first loved him in the human order and a wider family bidding farewell: a father – who was called to receive news of his son’s shooting- chilling news no one wants to receive,” Fr Madden told the congregation.

Friends spoke about him with fond words, calling him a lovable rogue and a character who was always winding them up.

“He always had a big smile on his face,” said another. They told stories about practical jokes he played on them and made friendly jibes about his ‘year-round tan’.A number of children read out prayers of the faithful and one of the gifts was a soft toy dressed in a sports kit.

3/6/2016 Gareth Hutch Funeral. Mourners arrive for Source: Rollingnews.ie

However, the nature of his death and the fear that enveloped him in his last days was not ignored.

The priest said the father-of-one’s primary concern had been for the safety, wellbeing, care and protection of his son. Just hours before his murder, he had written a letter to Dublin City Council asking to be moved from his flat, as he feared for his life, and particularly for the safety of his son.

Referring to the spate of violent murders in the last four months, Fr Madden told mourners “breaking the cycle of violence is not easy”.

“It needs courage, restraint, goodwill and right reason: and a desire for peace,” he told mourners.

“We pray that those who may find thoughts of peace or possibility of working for peace difficult or impossible, that they may discover in the bonds of friendship, strength and support to overcome negative feelings.  I know that the desire for peace is the springboard to a better future.”

3/6/2016 Gareth Hutch Funeral. Mourners arrive for Source: Rollingnews.ie

There was a heavy garda presence around the church during the funeral, and as the procession moved to Glasnevin cemetery, where the 35-year-old is to be laid to rest.

Investigations

Armed officers were also stationed at the coroner’s court in the city earlier this morning, for the inquest into Kinahan gang member’s David Byrne’s inquest. Byrne was killed when gunmen dressed like gardaí stormed a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in February.

Two people have already appeared before the courts in connection with the murder.

29-year-old Thomas Fox was denied bail on Wednesday after being charged with possession of a handgun.

On Tuesday, a 44-year-old woman appeared in court and was remanded in custody after she was accused of withholding information from gardaí investigating the murder.

On Wednesday, Mountjoy Superintendent Dan Flavin asked for information about the movements of a silver Skoda Octavia 05D15049 on and around 24 May, and about a black BMW 02D39051. These cars were used in the murder.

Comments are closed as the cases mentioned are before the courts.

Read: Gardaí from new taskforce may be sent to Spain to target Kinahan cartel

Read: Frances Fitzgerald says gardaí will ‘go after drug dealers who flaunt their assets’

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