| 13.2°C Dublin

'Don' murder suspect was close pal of Marlo

GARDAI have identified the gunman who shot crime boss The Don -- and it is a close pal of one of his victims.

Officers believe that an associate of gangster Marlo Hyland -- the gang boss murdered on The Don's orders -- was the hitman who assassinated Eamon Dunne.

Suspected of organising 15 murders, gang boss The Don died in a hail of bullets in a Cabra pub in April 2009.

The Herald understands that the leading suspect for the killing is a young man in his early 20s from the Cabra area who was previously very close to slain crime boss Hyland, who was murdered in December 2006.

A source told the Herald: "He was very, very close to 'Marlo' Hyland and looked up to him from a young age. He might always have resented the fact that Dunne took over Marlo's operations after he had him murdered but he didn't let Dunne know that."

The Herald today profiles the young gunman, who is considered the leader of a dangerous crew of young criminals from the Finglas and Cabra areas. This outfit has built up a fearsome reputation for gangland violence since they were teenagers.


The suspect was also involved in the murder of innocent Latvian woman Baiba Saulite in November 2006 and is currently facing firearms charges.

Sources say that gardai have placed the young gangster "on top of the list" for pumping eight bullets into 'The Don' -- one of the most notorious criminals in the history of Irish gangland.

The hood 'cut his teeth' in the crime world by taking part in criminal "fishing" which involves attaching a magnet to the end of a fishing rod or long wooden pole, pushing it through letterboxes and using it to remove car keys.

A source explained: "He was brilliant at doing that and built up a solid reputation for stealing cars, laptops and other valuable items but he got caught after a major garda investigation.

"Despite his relatively young age, he has a high pedigree within serious crime circles. He has long been considered a suspect for carrying out the murder of Eamon Dunne."

He has not been arrested over the murder of 'The Don' but some of his closest associates have been.

These include his pal Craig White, who was quizzed despite the fact that he's serving a life sentence for his role in the murder of 'King Ratt' gang member Noel Roche (27) in Clontarf.