Martin "Marlo" Hyland

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Martin "Marlo" Hyland (1 September 1969 – 12 December 2006) was a major Irish criminal and gang boss.[1]

Early life[edit]

Martin Hyland was born to a working-class family from Saint Attracta Road in Cabra, Dublin. As a teenager he led a gang of young criminals from Cabra, involved in burglary, car theft and robbery. In 1986, eighteen-year-old Hyland was sent to prison for various offences including conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary, malicious damage and car theft.[2]

Rise to prominence[edit]

After his release from serving a short prison sentence in the early 1990s, Hyland became involved in drug dealing. He moved into the big league of crime when he became associated with P.J. Judge, a major drugs trafficker and gang leader from Finglas.[3][4]

P.J. Judge was shot dead outside the Royal Oak pub in Finglas in December 1996. Gardaí suspect he was killed by Provisional IRA because of his erratic and violent nature.[5] Within a few years of Judge's death, Hyland had become the dominant figure in organised crime in North Dublin. He controlled a large gang of drug dealers and armed robbers from Cabra, Finglas and Ballymun. The gang were involved in the importation of large shipments of cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and heroin as well as VAT fraud, car theft, armed robbery, extortion and the supply of firearms.[6] Between 2002 and 2004 his gang was involved in a spate of robberies of security vans delivering money to ATM bank machines in Dublin. In a ten-month period alone, between October 2003 to July 2004, they got away with an estimated €3 million.[7]

Hyland also had links with other major criminal gangs in Dublin and supplied guns to one of the factions involved in the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud. He also supplied guns to the notorious McCarthy-Dundon gang who are heavily involved in the Limerick feud.[8]


All the criminal activity meant that Hyland and his associates were soaring to the top of the "most wanted" list. In September 2005, Gardaí decided to adapt a full on multi agency tactical approach to stop his gang. The plan, involving Gardaí and customs, was codenamed Operation Oak.[9][10] The operation was a huge success and within the first few months it had led to the seizure of 30 kilos of heroin, 35 kilos of cocaine and 1,427 kilos of cannabis. A number of stolen vehicles, €200,000 in cash and weapons including AK47s were also recovered. Twenty six of Hyland's associates were also facing serious charges, which led to resentment and bad feeling within the gang.[11] As Gardaí pressure increased Hyland became more isolated as gang members blamed him for all the attention. In November 2006 and again on 7 December, Hyland was warned by Gardaí, as is protocol, that his life was in danger.[12][13]


On the night of 11 December 2006, Hyland, who had access to several properties and never stayed at the same place two nights in a row, stayed at the home of his niece in Scribblestown Park, Finglas. Just before 9am the next morning, after his niece had left to take her daughter to school, two gunmen entered the house. Hyland was sleeping in a bedroom upstairs while 20-year-old Anthony Campbell, an apprentice plumber who had called to the house earlier to work on a faulty radiator, was downstairs. One of the gunmen held Anthony Campbell downstairs while the other crept up the stairs and shot Hyland twice in the head and four times in the back as he slept.[14] Before they left they also shot the innocent Campbell once in the head, killing him instantly.[15][16] Despite Gardaí suspecting the killers were two of Hyland's most trusted lieutenants, no one has been convicted of the double murder.[17] Eamon Dunne, who drove the getaway car for Hyland's killers, effectively took control of the gang soon after.[18] Dunne was linked to over a dozen gangland murders over the next three years before he himself was shot dead at a pub in Cabra in April 2010.[19][20]


  1. ^ Crime Wars, Paul Williams (2008) Merlin Publishing ISBN 1903582881
  2. ^ Crime Wars, Paul Williams (2008) Merlin Publishing ISBN 1903582881
  3. ^ Sheehan, Maeve (17 December 2006). "He thought he was invincible but slain drugs boss was marked man". 
  4. ^ Crime Wars, Paul Williams (2008) Merlin Publishing ISBN 1903582881
  5. ^ Cusack, Jim (5 January 2003). "Up to 40 gang murders still unsolved". 
  6. ^ O'Keeffe, Cormac (11 October 2008). "28 members of gang prosecuted in Garda swoop". Irish Examiner. 
  7. ^ Crime Wars, Paul Williams (2008) Merlin Publishing ISBN 1903582881
  8. ^ Badfellas, Paul Williams (2011) Penguin Ireland ISBN 978-1-84488-271-7
  9. ^ Crime Wars, Paul Williams (2008) Merlin Publishing ISBN 1903582881
  10. ^ McDonald, Henry (17 December 2006). "Drug boom fuels Dublin gangland killings". The Observer. 
  11. ^ "Anger over Irish gangland deaths". BBC NEWS. 14 December 2006. 
  12. ^ "Gardai had warned murdered man". 12 December 2006. 
  13. ^ Crime Wars, Paul Williams (2008) Merlin Publishing ISBN 1903582881
  14. ^ "Gardai had warned murdered man". 12 December 2006. 
  15. ^ "Plumber killed to stop him from identifying killers, inquest is told". 21 June 2011. 
  16. ^ McKittrick, David (14 December 2006). "Irish gangland "bloodbath" feared after leading criminal is killed". The Independent. 
  17. ^ O'Keefe, Cormac (7 February 2007). "Gardai confident they know killers of crime boss". Irish Examiner. 
  18. ^ Foy, Ken (13 March 2012). "Two of Ireland's most dangerous gangsters". 
  19. ^ Phelan, Shane (24 April 2010). "'The Don' linked to a dozen underworld murders". 
  20. ^ Foy, Ken (21 March 2012). "'The Don' took aggressive call minutes before death". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Williiams, Paul. "Crime Wars". Merlin Publishing, 2008. ISBN 1903582830
  • Williams, Paul. "Badfellas". Penguin Ireland, 2011. ISBN 1844882713