Sunday, 15 April 2007

Associate of dead gangland boss latest victim of 'curse'

Sunday Tribune

Mick McCaffrey Security Editor
FROM TOP: Martin 'Marlo' Hyland and Declan Curran; both reputed to be victims of a curse placed on gangland figuresA CLOSE associate of murdered gangland boss Martin 'Marlo' Hyland's gang has been found dead.

Anthony Ledwidge, 24, from Ratoath Drive in Finglas was found dead at a building site in Ballymun on 25 March.

He was the prime suspect in an incident which left a security guard at the Law Library dead after he was crushed by a gate rammed by a stolen car.

Gardaí are not treating his death as suspicious and criminals say he is the latest victim of the so-called 'Cappagh Curse', a supposed hex placed on criminals in Dublin 15 by a Traveller woman who said 12 would die within three years.

Ten have since passed away.

Ledwidge was very well known to gardaí in Finglas and has several previous convictions for drug offences. He was linked with Marlo Hyland, one of the country's biggest drug dealers, who was shot dead last December, and was also close to Declan Curran who died in November 2004.

Detectives believe that Ledwidge and Curran, one of the most notorious gangland figures in criminal history, were responsible for killing security guard Pat O'Donnell in March 1999.

Two men broke into the Law Library offices in Dublin and attempted to steal a car.

O'Donnell, 50, was on duty and saw the men on a closedcircuit TV camera.

He contacted gardaí, and as they searched the area, the raiders drove through the locked gate of the car park in the stolen Volkswagen Golf.

The heavy steel gates fell on the security guard and crushed him.

The married man suffered serious head injuries and died. A garda suffered a broken arm in the same incident.

Ledwidge and Curran were both questioned over the incident but the DPP ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to bring charges.

Detectives have little doubt that the pair were responsible.

Declan Curran even taunted officers over the incident, saying it was lucky that the two gardaí jumped out of the way or they would have been killed.

Criminals in Finglas are living in fear of the 'Cappagh Curse' which was supposedly placed by a Traveller woman. It is said that the mother of a man who had died of a drug overdose approached the woman in June 2003 and asked her to curse the gang responsible for selling him heroin.

That gang was led by Marlo Hyland; Declan Curran also operated a gang that was working to Hyland.

Detectives first heard of the curse in July 2003 when 30-year-old Victor Murphy was accidentally killed when a shotgun he was carrying in a stolen car went off. He had been on his way to carry out a robbery with Declan Curran at the time.

Curran, 23, fell victim to the curse himself when he died of a mystery heart condition in Cloverhill prison.

Just days later, his friend Paul Cunningham was shot dead in Blanchardstown.

Others who are also said to be victims of the hex include murder suspect Paul Boyd, ATM thief Anthony Spratt and Westies leaders Shane Coates and Stephen Sugg.

Marlo Hyland also fell victim to the curse when he was shot dead by his own gang last December.

Gardaí say criminals are far more frightened of the 'Cappagh Curse' than they are of the law.
April 15, 2007

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