Credit crunch forces Monk to sell luxury limo
It seems no-one is immune to the bite of the credit crunch these days – even The Monk.
The Herald can reveal that four years after Gerry Hutch started his luxury limo-driving business, he is now being forced to sell off one of his precious stretched Hummers.
He became the first person in Ireland to import a vehicle of its size when he first brought the €150,000 car from the US in 2005, at the height of the Celtic Tiger.
Using the small ads in the Herald, the Monk advertised the eye-catching ride – a favourite for Debs, weddings and celebrity clients – for a knockdown €65,000.
The ad also states that the car has had €20,000 worth of work done to it, including a giant plasma TV screen, state-of-the-art lighting and the latest music system.
The number used in the newspaper notice connects callers to his Carry Any Body limousine service, aka CAB, a tongue-in-cheek reference to his infamous past.
In 2000 he paid out some €1.5m to the Criminal Assets Bureau as part of a tax settlement following an investigation into his financial affairs.
Since then, he claims to have turned his back on all dubious activities, and in 2002 was granted a taxi-driver licence for his E-series Mercedes before turning to the more lucrative business of limo driving.
When he brought in his first Hummer, the Monk explained: “There's an open market for this kind of thing and I want to fill the gap.
“We live in the new Ireland now and people are screaming out for this kind of thing.”
As well as selling his Hummer, the Monk has turned his attention towards the movie world. As first revealed in the Herald, a film being backed by Hutch, called Jack Said, in which he plays the part of a CAB officer named Felix, has been filmed in London.
His actor pal Sean Boru, who has a leading role in the film, praised Hutch’s natural acting ability and said the part was especially written for the Dublin figure.
“He was a bit nervous at the start but then he really got into it. He has a very cheeky face and has lots of interesting expressions so he was actually a bit of a natural in the end,” Boru said.
Speaking about his own foray into acting, the Clontarf-based businessman said: “I really enjoyed it, although I was a bit nervous at first. But the crew and actors made me feel very welcome.
“It was an experience to say the least, but can I say that Pierce Brosnan needn’t worry, I won’t be taking up acting as a career!”