The Don responsible for ordering at least 17 murders

EDUCATED and softly spoken, ruthless Eamon Dunne was the country’s most violent and feared gangland figure, personally responsible for ordering at least 17 gangland hits.

Known as “The Don”, 34-year-old Dunne ruled Dublin’s drugs business with an iron fist, eliminating anyone who posed a threat.

A regular abuser of alcohol and cocaine, the Finglas-based criminal styled himself on hit TV show The Wire’s drug lord Marlo Stanfield.

Dunne was born in February 1974 and grew up near Blackhorse Avenue, Cabra, Dublin. Unlike other crime figures, Dunne sat his Leaving Certificate, in 1993, and ran a motor business as a front for his criminal activities.

He first came to Garda attention in 2002 when he was caught during a drugs raid on a house in Finglas with a large amount of cocaine and ecstasy. He fought the case to the Supreme Court and lost and was facing a 10-year jail term when the case was due to be heard next month.

About five months after the raid, Dunne was stopped in a car which was carrying a bound and gagged man in the boot. The kidnap victim never made a complaint and no charges were ever brought against Dunne.

Dunne has been directly linked to at least 14 other gangland executions and is believed to have been involved in several high-profile armed robberies across Dublin between 2002 and 2005. He is believed to have ordered the shooting dead of his former boss, Martin Marlo Hyland, in December 2006. Innocent plumber Anthony Campbell was killed in the attack

Gardaí also believe Dunne was the gunman who killed drug dealer Andrew Dillon in 2005.

He is also believed to have ordered the murder of John Daly in October 2007. Daly was a notorious career criminal who telephoned Liveline using a mobile phone while locked up in Portlaoise prison.

Dunne is also believed to have forged links with the Limerick-based McCarthy Dundon gang, and to have been involved with the gang who shot Latvian woman, Baiba Saulite, on behalf of the Limerick gang in return for the cancellation of a drugs debt.

In November 2007, Dunne was arrested by undercover gardaí in a Tesco car park in Celbridge, Co Kildare, and was subsequently charged with conspiracy to rob almost €1m from a cash-in-transit van. That trial was due to begin in June.

Dunne was a target of the Garda National Drugs Unit, the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Criminal Assets Bureau, and the Organised Crime Unit.

Last August, using new anti-gang legislation, they raided three properties owned by Dunne (two in Finglas and one in Cabra).

He had a string of girlfriends and had children with at least three of them.

He surrounded himself with minders and bodyguards and wore body armour. In recent months he had become increasingly paranoid and never stayed in the same place two nights in a row. He had even begun staying in seaside caravan parks.

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