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Saturday 17 November 2018

'The Don' linked to a dozen underworld murders

Shane Phelan Investigative Correspondent

EAMON DUNNE was a major garda target and linked to several murders.

He was dubbed 'The Don' by the tabloid newspapers after seizing control of much of the north Dublin underworld and the drug supply line to Blanchardstown, Finglas and Ballymun in particular.

From his stronghold in Finglas, he rose to prominence in the criminal underworld following the murder of heroin kingpin, Martin 'Marlo' Hyland, in December 2006.

With the help of former Hyland gang members, he filled the vacuum left by the death and quickly established himself as the most feared and ruthless gang boss in Dublin.

While not pulling the trigger himself, the 32-year-old was suspected of organising at least a dozen gangland murders in recent years as he consolidated his position.

The victims included:

> John Paul Joyce (30), the drug-trafficking Traveller, whose body was dumped at the back of Dublin airport in January.

> David Thomas (43), shot dead outside The Drake Inn pub in Finglas in October last year.

> Paul Smyth (34), from Finglas, killed and dumped near Balbriggan last June.

> Michael Murray (41), shot in the head at Kippure Park, Finglas, in March last year.

> Graham McNally (34), Finglas, formerly a close associate, shot dead in January last year.

> Michael 'Roly' Cronin (35) and James Maloney (26), shot dead in a car in Summerhill, Dublin, also in January last year.

> Paul 'Farmer' Martin (30), shot in the head and stomach at the Jolly Toper pub in Church Street in August 2008.

> Trevor Walsh (33), was gunned down at Kippure Park, Finglas in July 2008.

> John Daly (27), the criminal who became infamous after 'Liveline' from his prison cell; shot dead in October 2007.

He was also suspected of ordering Hyland's murder.

An innocent plumber, Anthony Campbell, was gunned down at the same time as Hyland so no witnesses would be left behind.

Dunne grew up in Cabra and was marked out from many of his contemporaries by the fact that he completed his secondary school education.

Gardai first began to pay attention to him after he was stopped at a checkpoint with a man tied up in the boot of his car.

Charges against him were later dropped because the victim was too scared to testify.

He is suspected of involvement in a number of armed robberies, with the cash stolen later used to fund drugs shipments.

Gardai also believe he had a history of violence towards women.

He was skilled in the art of intimidation, arriving at court hearings flanked by two heavies and concealing his face with a hood or scarf. He goaded and threatened press photographers he encountered and accused journalists who wrote about him of putting his life in danger.


Detectives believe he planned to run a bogus security company as a front, but this plan has been thwarted by garda activity.

Although he had no legitimate business interests or signs of income, he drove a BMW car.

Because of his activities, his life was constantly under threat from his adversaries.

He had been out on bail for a serious offence and had to sign on every day at the Bridewell garda station in the city centre. In recent months he was seldom seen without at least two minders at his side or close-by when he went to sign on.

Gardai foiled at least one assassination attempt by associates of convicted armed robber and drug dealer Paul 'Farmer' Martin.

He was quick to stamp out any perceived threats to his domination of the drugs scene.

Armed robber John Daly, for example, was shot dead as he sat in a taxi outside his Finglas home just days after being released from prison.

It is believed Daly was eliminated before he was able to muscle in on the gang boss's drug-dealing territory.

Irish Independent

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