herald

Monday 29 May 2017

10 years after brutal murder, there is still no justice for young Anthony

Gardai enter the house in Finglas, where Anthony Campbell and Hyland were shot dead
Gardai enter the house in Finglas, where Anthony Campbell and Hyland were shot dead
Christine Campbell with baby granddaughter Lyla
Anthony Campbell and his mum Christine

Ten years ago today, Ireland witnessed one of its worst gangland murders when an innocent young plumber was shot dead by hitmen worried that he might identify them as the killers of drugs boss Martin 'Marlo' Hyland.

Despite a massive garda investigation, no one has ever been charged with the murders of Hyland and 20-year-old Anthony Campbell.

They died in a shockingly violent year. Their murders were the 21st and 22nd gun killings in a bloody 12- month period that saw Latvian mother-of-two Baiba Saulite (28) shot dead and all-out gang warfare terrorising the north inner city.

Danger

It is highly unlikely that Anthony was thinking of this violence when he agreed to do a job at a house in Scribblestown Park in Finglas to earn some money for Christmas.

Anthony and his boss, David Murphy, had been due to carry out a quick repair job on the house owned by Hyland's niece, Elaine, the previous night. However, they were too tired after a busy day and moved the job to the next morning.

Hyland (39) knew his life was in danger and had been staying with his niece, her partner and their two young daughters for three months.

The murder victims were alone in the house at the time of the shooting, and it is believed that Anthony opened the door to his killers.

Hyland was shot six times as he lay sleeping in an upstairs bedroom before the gunmen turned their attention to Anthony, who was downstairs in the living room.

He was killed by a single bullet fired at close range from a semi-automatic handgun.

An inquest heard he had both arms raised above his head in a defensive posture when the bullet passed through his left arm and entered his head, killing him almost imm- ediately. The nation was outraged by this double murder, and it did not take long for gardai to discover that Hyland had been murdered by his own gang. His partners in crime suspected he was touting to gardai who had set up a special operation codenamed Operation Oak under current Chief Superintendent Dominic Hayes.

Hyland was murdered 15 months after the operation began, by which point gardai had seized 30kg of heroin with a street value of €8m, 35kg of cocaine worth €2.5m and 1.4 tonnes of cannabis worth €10m.

They had also seized four stolen vehicles, firearms, ammunition and cash.

The operation led to 41 arrests and 26 suspects being brought before the courts on charges ranging from possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply, robbery and possession of firearms.

Six years later, crime journalist Paul Williams gave evidence in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court alleging that Willie Hynes and John Mangan were responsible for the December 2006 double murder, and that the late Eamon 'The Don' Dunne acted as the getaway driver.

Williams' opinion is also the firm belief of gardai who could never get enough evidence to charge the two men who were key members of Hyland's gang.

Both are now serving lengthy jail sentences for the massive drugs bust that caused Hyland's outfit to implode in 2006, which ultimately led to his murder.

Hyland became a target because his associates believed he was tipping off gardai about drug collections to save his own skin. Hynes (50), of Park Close, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, and Mangan (48), of Whitestown Green, Blanchardstown, were snared after a massive operation by gardai at Browns Barn pub, south Co Dublin, on July 31, 2006.

More than €2m worth of cannabis resin in 14 boxes split between a Ford Transit van and an Opel Astra in the pub car park was seized.

The two men were arr- ested nearby, charged, convicted and ultimately jailed.

Only eight months after Hyland and Anthony were shot dead, Mangan was arrested with a loaded pistol down his trousers in the Comet pub in Santry. He was on bail on two charges of possession of cannabis at the time.

Mangan told gardai his life had been threatened between eight and 10 times that year and he was carrying the pistol only for his own safety.

Savage

He told detectives that both he and his home had been shot at during that period. However, he made no formal complaint to gardai.

Mangan is serving 10 years for the firearms charge on top of a 14-year sentence imposed on him in 2009 for the cannabis offences. Hynes is doing a 12-year stretch in relation to the drugs bust. Prison life has been tough for both men, particularly Mangan, who was savagely assaulted in Mountoy in 2014 by six other inmates.

After Hyland's murder, Eamon 'The Don' Dunne became the leader of the drugs gang.

He was linked to up to 15 murders, and was himself shot dead in a Cabra pub by the Kinahan cartel in 2010.

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