The 58-year-old described by Irish press as a career criminal was taken into custody by Spanish police on the Costa del Sol yesterday on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.
Detectives have long believed Hutch was behind the 2016 Regency attack, which shocked the country.
Gardaí expect it could be several months before they get to question Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch over his alleged involvement in the Regency Hotel attack.
David Byrne was murdered when a gang of five stormed a boxing weigh-in looking for crime boss Daniel Kinahan.
Irish press believe Hutch is likely to face a string of charges when he is returned to this jurisdiction, including possession of firearms.
A Spanish judge would then have to sign-off on him being returned to Ireland.
The evidence used by gardaí to secure the European Arrest Warrant last April would be used in any hearing.
Hutch is being held under the control of Spain’s central Audiencia Nacional court after being arrested by the elite police unit, the Unidad Central Operativa (UCO).
He was stopped by members of the El Equipo de Huidos de la Unidad Central Operativa (UCO) de la Guardia Civil.
According to reports, Hutch was lifted when he left the Fuengirola home where he had been hiding out and which had been under surveillance by specialized agents for days.
The UCO is part of the judicial police service of the Spanish Civil Guard who specialise in taking on organised crime.
Hutch is now being held under the jurisdiction of Spain’s Audiencia Nacional court.
The court, which based in Madrid, has jurisdiction over major crimes including terrorism, trade crimes, drug trafficking, as well as international crimes.
Although the court’s headquarters are in Madrid, suspects can be held at different locations while they await hearings.
The Monk will be held here until a National Court rules on his extradition back to Ireland.
It brings to an end a Europe-wide search for the criminal, which has been going on for more than four months.
After obtaining a warrant, gardaí were hopeful that Hutch would have been tracked down within days.
He had relocated to Lanzarote after the Regency attack, but he had been on the run since the warrant was issued.
The fact that he was detained in Fuengirola will come as a surprise to gardaí, as it is a holiday location familiar to many Irish people, and he would have been immediately recognised.
It was believed that he had been moving between locations in Spain and Turkey.
Now that he is in the custody of the Spanish police, it is unlikely that Hutch will return to Ireland voluntarily.
The Monk will fight against any extradition attempt.
The Regency trial
They claimed he believed he had no case to answer following the collapse of the trial of his nephew, Patrick Hutch, for Byrne’s murder.
The trial of Patrick Hutch (26) fell apart following the tragic death of the officer in charge of the inquiry, Detective Superintendent Colm Fox.
It was the State’s case that Patrick Hutch was the gunman dressed as a woman at the Regency, and although he did not shoot David Byrne he was part of a “shared intention” to commit the offence.
Patrick Hutch had denied the charges.
In February 2019, the DPP entered a nolle prosequi and dropped the charges against him.
A detailed investigation file on the Monk’s alleged involvement in the Regency attack was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions late last year.
Gardaí believe the attack was planned in revenge for the murder of Gerry Hutch’s nephew, Gary, by Kinahan’s men in September 2015.
This was followed by an attempt to assassinate The Monk in Lanzarote three months later, on New Year’s Eve.
At the time, it was believed The Monk had effectively retired from his life of crime.
However, he quickly became a suspect for involvement in the Regency attack.
Three of the gunmen were dressed as members of the Garda Emergency Response Unit.
Daniel Kinahan and his close associates, including David Byrne’s brother Liam, managed to escape through a back door of the hotel.
The subsequent feud claimed 18 lives, including those of two innocent men.
The death toll included Gerry Hutch’s brother, Eddie, three of his nephews and two of his best friends.
Gerry Hutch was only 24 when he made his name in the underworld hierarchy after his gang stole €1.6m from a security van in Marino Mart on Dublin’s Northside in 1987.
The heist catapulted The Monk into the big league along with the likes of John Gilligan, George ‘The Penguin’ Mitchell and Martin ‘The General’ Cahill.
In 1995, Hutch and his gang again made the gangland history books when they were the prime suspects for the robbery of €3.5m in a heist from a cash holding facility in north county Dublin.
The money was laundered through construction projects at the beginning of the country’s building boom.
Hutch managed to escape prosecution, but was forced to pay CAB more than €1.5m to satisfy a tax demand.
He came from a poor background and said there was nothing around when he was a child.
His dad ‘Masher’ Hutch worked on the docks in Dublin while his mum Julia took care of the family.
In 1971, the Hutch family moved to Summerhill.
He became the leader of an infamous teenage gang called the Bugsy Malones.
Hutch was sent to prison at 15 and said it was ‘like college for criminals’.
At the age of 16 he was interviewed, by RTE radio.
He said: “I can’t give up robbing.
“If I see money in a car I’m taking it.
“I just can’t leave it there.
“If I see a handbag on a seat I’ll smash the window and be away before anyone knows what’s going on.
“I don’t go near people walking down the street.
“They’re not worth robbing.”
Hutch was sentenced to detention eleven times and spent sentences in industrial schools, before going to Mountjoy Prison.
When he was 20, Gerry got two years for malicious damage and it is the last time that he was in prison.
The 58-year-old was once suspected of being involved in two of the country’s biggest heists, which he denied.
Despite several investigations and arrests, he was not prosecuted.
Speaking to RTE Prime Time in a 2008 interview, the Monk said: “As a kid, my first conviction was stealing a red bottle of lemonade – I got a fine.
“And then, I was involved in other crimes as a kid; stealing and breaking into shops.
“I had no choice; had to get into crime to feed yourself, never mind dress yourself.”
When asked if that makes him a convicted criminal, the Dubliner agreed – but denied the other allegations against him.
Hutch admitted: “Oh, yes, a convicted criminal – I am that.
“But not a convicted armed robber. Not a convicted hitman; not a convicted drug dealer.”
Of his time as a teenager, Hutch said: “I have a kid now of 15 and I look at the kid and I say ‘my God, when I was 15, I was in prison’.
“I mean, I was in prison with murderers, rapists, bank robbers, everything.
“I’ll agree I done wrong but I think the severity of being put into Mountjoy Prison at that age, it was like going to college for criminals.
He said: “I’ve done a lot of business in property, it was a good time – that’s where I made my money.
“If people say armed robberies, so be it.”
He got a taxi licence and called his limousine business CAB – Carry Any Body.
Hutch, 58, was under surveillance by police in the resort town of Fuengirola at the end of April when news of the European Arrest Warrant out for him leaked.
He is wanted by gardai over the murder of David Byrne during the infamous attack on the Regency Hotel in February 2016.
Hutch had been under surveillance by Spanish authorities in Malaga but may have been tipped off he was being watched. He then fled to Romania before going to ground.
t is understood Hutch went to the Costa del Sol resort after he left Lanzarote, less than 48 hours before police were set to arrest him.
The Dubliner is very keen on Lanzarote but felt under threat there from the Kinahans, in particular, and police. Detectives said Hutch, a master of disguise, has access to high-quality forged passports, at least one of which he would have used to get off Lanzarote after the arrest warrant was issued in Dublin four weeks ago.
The Monk has connections across Eastern Europe and police believe he is using his huge cash reserves of about €30million to stay one step ahead of the law and the Kinahan gunmen.
It’s believed Hutch left continental Europe last month as the international police manhunt gained momentum.
It took detectives five years to compile evidence against Hutch following the murder of Byrne.
The Director of Public Prosecutions believed there was enough to charge him.
Interpol, Europol and every force from here to the Russian border were informed and Hutch’s photo, physical description were widely circulated.
The update on this will follow shortly.