Saturday 18 August 2018

Don't judge me - Don's grave

MEMORIAL: Family erect plaque to slain gang boss

"Don't judge me today, judge me tomorrow".

That's the message on the grave of 'The Don' -- once Dublin's most feared gang boss.

A year ago Eamon Dunne was the biggest mobster in the capital, controlling the drug supply in most of the city's northside, carrying out armed robberies and running protection rackets.

But this is where the criminal kingpin lies today, in a lonely grave in Dardistown Cemetery.

The "don't judge me" line is carved on a memorial plaque, inscribed with the Liverpool FC emblem, which takes pride of place on Dunne's grave.

Ironically, the gangster was facing judgment in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court at the time of his death, where he was facing trial for armed robbery.

But Dunne was gunned down in a pub in Cabra West in April last year as he sat beside his young daughter, before his trial, and his own killer has not yet been found.

Dunne would have turned 35 last Thursday and his family published a number of heartfelt newspaper messages to mark a year without their loved one.

"Happy birthday to our beloved son Eamon. Having you as a son was the greatest gift of all," his parents wrote.

One of the most poignant messages left belonged to Dunne's young daughter.

"I don't understand why this had to happen to you, but I'm proud to say you were my Dad," she wrote.



tears

"Although you will not be by my side each day, you were always there for me and never made me cry, until the night you closed your eyes, and were made to say goodbye.

"The most precious thing to me was you being there for my first breath and me there for your last. Love you always dad."

His sister recalled a phrase that Dunne would recite regularly: "'You only live once', you used to say, but I miss you more and more every day.

"Falling tears and heartache are signs we have to bear, but losing you the way did will always be unfair."

"Never forgotten," reads another tribute, signed by 'The Magnificent Seven'.

Close friends including Brian O'Reilly and Derek McLoughlin got together to mark the first anniversary of Dunne's killing.

Today the mobster's grave is also marked with a simple wooden cross, with the words In "Loving Memory of Eamon Dunne", inscribed on it.

A colour photograph shows Dunne smiling, and a stone- shaped heart at its base has "Love You Always" written on it. The grave is surrounded by Liverpool memorabilia and messages from friends and family inscribed on ornaments and marble slabs.

"Brother You're The Best" says one.



AMBUSH

Dunne is buried right beside his friend and gang enforcer Paddy Doyle, who was gunned down in Spain in 2008. The pair were not associates.

Doyle (27) died in a hail of bullets after an ambush on the sun-soaked streets of Estepona on February 4 that year.

Originally from Cabra, Dunne is believed to have been behind the murders of at least a dozen people he saw as threats to his drugs empire.

From his Finglas base, the 34-year-old rose to prominence in the criminal underworld following the murder of heroin dealer, Martin 'Marlo' Hyland, in December 2006.

With the help of Hyland's gang members, he filled the void left by his death and quickly established himself as the most feared man in north Dublin. But he was increasingly paranoid towards the end.

hnews@herald.ie

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