herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

The life & crimes of Marlo Hyland

EXECUTED: Ruthless gangster knew he was a marked man and hoarded religious relics as he prepared to face his killers

MARLO Hyland and Anthony Campbell could not have been further apart in their lifestyles yet were brought together by their deaths.

One was a career criminal and the other an innocent young man. Both were murdered in cold blood.

At the time of the killing in 2006, I was the garda detective inspector based at Blanchardstown and worked with a team of colleagues on the double murder.

We knew Hyland as a well- known city gangster. We'd all encountered him at some point.

He started out as a protege of Peter 'PJ' Judge -- commonly known as The Psycho -- who, like his friend, was gunned down in a hail of bullets.

Judge had been murdered 10 years earlier, in December 1996, in the car park of the then Royal Oak Pub in Finglas.

Marlo Hyland was reared in Cabra where he made connections with some of Ireland's most serious criminals.



Prison

Judge taught him the power of fear, and he followed in the Psycho's footsteps by terrorising other criminals with violent punishment for even minor infringements of the criminal code -- and death for the more serious breaches.

Hyland thought he was invincible. But for the last nine months of his life he knew he was living on borrowed time.

Throughout 2006, in the period leading up to his murder, Hyland surrounded himself with serious criminals, recently released from prison.

The two highest profile of these spotted by our officers were Patrick 'Dutchy' Holland, suspected of being the gunman who shot journalist Veronica Guerin, and Dessie O'Hare, the notorious INLA terrorist convicted of the kidnapping and torture of Dublin dentist John O'Grady.

Hyland supplied 'rest homes' for these gangsters after they were released from prison -- hoping to increase his standing in the criminal world by these gestures.

At the same time, detectives had been targeting Hyland in an operation codenamed Oak.

It was set up specifically to undermine his criminal empire.

Oak was very successful with many of Hyland's associates arrested for very serious crimes and facing trial for drug and firearms offences.

Slowly but surely, his empire was disintegrating around him.

Crucially, a suspicion began to develop in the criminal underworld that he was a police informer. Fellow gangsters began to wonder why Marlo Hyland had had avoided arrest or prosecution.

It was clear to all that his time was running out.

Shortly before his killing, he was warned by gardai that there was a serious threat on his life and advised on his safety.

Hyland then began staying in different houses every night to avoid his enemies.

But as time wore on, he became a little more careless and less conscious of the deadly foes gathering around him.

He was living on and off with his niece in Scribblestown Park in Finglas where ultimately his killers cornered him.

Another little known fact is that prior to his murder Hyland -- despite his ruthless criminal behaviour in the past -- turned to God and repeatedly prayed for his life.

Somehow, the ruthless gangster and drug dealer who had meted out death and violence himself seemed to have accepted his fate and was preparing to meet his final judge.

When he was found executed in the house that morning he had several scapulars and novena cards in his belongings.

As one of those who tried to put Hyland behind bars, I hope he did make his peace before being dispatched by a hitman in his bedroom.

The second person to die that day, Anthony Campbell, was an only child.

Anthony was the son of Christine Campbell and Noel Fitzgerald. He was blessed in that he had two adoring families, on both sides.

Well liked and popular, his families were all hard working decent people.

The young apprentice plumber was doing some work to earn a few bob to buy presents for his parents and family for Christmas.

There are things in life that you remember for good reasons and other things for the wrong reasons.

That fateful December day when I walked into the house in Scribblestown Park and saw young Anthony murdered in cold blood will forever be etched in my memory.

To this day it is my heartfelt regret that I was unable to bring the people responsible for his murder and that of Hyland to justice before I retired.

I am fully aware that there are people out there who know what happened that day and who pulled the trigger. These people know who they are.

Where once they had justified fear of associates of Marlo Hyland, they have no reason to fear them now.

The other major figures involved in the murders, including the notorious criminal Eamon Dunne, are now dead. Others directly responsible are serving very lengthy sentences for serious crime.

These people in the know know the love and affection they get from their own children. Christine Campbell has been denied this right; her only son was taken away from her.

I would implore these people to examine their conscience and do the right thing. The investigation into these murders is still alive but needs their help.

The gardai are willing and able to bring those responsible to justice. Do the right thing.

Brian Sherry is a former detective inspector, who investigated the murders of Marlo Hyland and Anthony Campbell

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