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horror shooting Eoin Glackin reveals explains why he wrote a song about Anthony Campbell's murder


Eoin Glackin

Eoin Glackin

Eoin Glackin

IN December 2006, Irish songwriter Eoin Glackin was stopped in his tracks by a horrific news report on the radio that revealed how an innocent young plumber had been shot dead after being caught up in a gangland hit.

Dubliner Anthony Campbell, who was just 20 years old, was carrying out a repair job on a leaky radiator in a house owned by the niece of drugs gangster Martin 'Marlo' Hyland.


Anthony Campbell and his mum Christine

Anthony Campbell and his mum Christine

Anthony Campbell and his mum Christine

Hyland was asleep upstairs when two hitmen knocked on the door of the house in Finglas, and Anthony answered it.

They shot Hyland six times as he slept, and then took Anthony's life with a single bullet to the head to ensure he didn't identify them.

It was a cold blooded murder that caused outrage throughout Ireland, and the hearts of the nation went out to Anthony's devastated mum, Christine.

Songwriter Eoin Glackin would later pen a song called Mrs Campbell about the horrific incident he could never get out of his head.

"I did get word back that Anthony's mother appreciated it," Eoin tells Shuffle.

"I remember it wasn't far from Christmas when Anthony was murdered and I wrote the song as a fairly knee-jerk reaction to hearing about it.

"Anthony was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it's just terrifying that that could happen to anyone, but particularly to an innocent young guy caught in the crossfire of a gangland feud.

"Can you imagine the fear that Anthony must have gone through when he realised the situation he was in. It's horrendous."

Dubliner Glackin, who has just released a new song, El Dorado, "it's about unbreakable friendship," he says, is a great storyteller in song.

A popular live performer, he has been out of the road with everyone from The Darkness and Joan Armatrading to our own local heroes Aslan. "I've been very fortunate to make a living from music ever since I left school," he says.

"I went over to London for a while when I was about 20 with the intention of building up some music contacts. That where I met my current manager,David Jaymes, who managed Mike Scott, Sinead O'Connor and Damien Dempsey. He was also in 1980s pop band, Modern Romance."

Along the way Eoin struck up a friendship and co-writing partnership with one of the Irish country music scene's biggest stars, Derek Ryan.

Recalling how the pair first met, Eoin reveals: ""I was working in a bar in London many years ago and Derek was gigging in the Irish bars there at the time. D-Side, the pop band he was in, had just broken up

"Derek was a real grafter. I used to go around to his gigs with him and he would come to mine. I went to Derek's gigs because he would have a free bar. I used to pretend that I was his manager and sit and drink free pints all night on his tab.

"We became close buddies and we both discovered a mutual love for songwriting. He was big into country and I was a big country fan as well. We bonded over that.

"One day we a song in my kitchen called The Belle of Liverpool. I didn't think much of it at the time as it was a fun little song. But then two years later I got a message from Derek saying, 'I'm going to make a country album and I'm going to use that song.' That song went well for him and then we've just been writing together since.

"The country scene has been the biggest thing in Ireland in the local live scene for many years now. It's one of those things that people in the cities, such as Dublin, are sort of oblivious to. Obviously it's such a shame and devastating for everyone that it shut down this year. It's been beyond weird that all live music gigs in front of crowds suddenly stopped in 2020."

H EOIN Glackin's single, El Dorado, is out now.

Sunday World