Armed gardai watch over candelit vigil for feud murder victim
Armed gardai kept watch at a candlelit vigil last night in memory of Ireland's latest gangland murder victim.
Family and friends of Derek Coakley Hutch (27) assembled at Our Lady of Lourdes church on Sean McDermott Street, along with about 300 members of the local community, to pay their respects.
Many of those who attended did not hide their emotions, and openly embraced each other during the poignant event.
Some held onto each other for support as they talked fondly of the father-of-two.
Candles were handed out with a small memorial card attached, which included a smiling picture of the 27-year-old.
It read: "In loving memory of Derek Hutch. Light a candle, see it glow, watch it dance when you feel low, think of me, think of light, I'll always be here, day or night. A candle flickers out of sight, but in your heart, I will still burn bright."
It is understood that the officers present were part of the Community Policing Unit from Store Street and Mountjoy Garda Station.
They were supported by the Armed Support Unit.
The large crowd then walked a short distance to Buckingham Street where they held a moment's silence at a monument dedicated to those who have died of drug abuse.
A small number of mourners covered their faces with scarves and hats as they passed by a line of photographers.
When the moment of silence ended, the crowd sang Gerry and the Pacemakers' You'll Never Walk Alone.
A round of applause then echoed throughout the Dublin 1 street, as close friends and family of Coakley Hutch burst into tears.
One woman cried "We love you, Derek", while another man shouted "You'll never be forgotten."
A number of Chinese lanterns were then released into the night sky as the vigil came to an end.
The tribute was held five days after Coakley Hutch was shot dead at the Bridgeview halting site near Cloverhill Road.
Senior investigators say he drove to the halting site with two associates to throw a parcel of drugs over the prison wall.
While Coakley Hutch stayed with the car, his associates made their way to the rear of the site, which backs on to the prison.
They then made contact with younger brother Nathan Hutch (24), a prisoner at the jail, by phone to inform him the drop was taking place.
While the drop was happening, shots rang out in the background. His brother heard the gunfire and instant panic developed both inside and outside the prison.
Coakley Hutch became the 14th victim of the Kinahan-Hutch feud. Although gardai do not believe he was directly involved, they say he may have been targeted because of his association with some of the main players.
The Herald revealed recently that a violent criminal suspected of involvement in the murder was formally warned of a threat to his life last Thursday.