Wilsons as written about in “The Hitmen”; they are just Low Life Sadistic Murderers for Money or revenge. They are cousins of the late General. However the Book Missed a few Darker Connections to the Thugs?

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NATURAL BORN KILLER 

Hitman Eric Wilson demanded kilo of cocaine for fee as Ireland’s most prolific gangland killer at height of rampage

3 Apr 2021, 8:15

DRUG-fuelled psycho Eric Wilson demanded a kilo of cocaine for his fee as Ireland’s most prolific gangland killer, a new book reveals.

The Hitmen details how Eric, brothers Keith and John, cousin Alan and nephew Luke became the country’s first family of contract assassins.

Wilson went on to carry out hits in Drogheda, the North and Spain before being jailed for 28 years for shooting English criminal ‘Tall Dan’ Smith
Wilson went on to carry out hits in Drogheda, the North and Spain before being jailed for 28 years for shooting English criminal ‘Tall Dan’ SmithCredit: Jon Nazca – The Sun Dublin
Roy Coddington was shot by Wilson on May 22, 2007
Roy Coddington was shot by Wilson on May 22, 2007
Eric was the first to become involved in murder when he shot his former best friend Martin Kenny in 2005 in a dispute over missing drugs (stock image)
Eric was the first to become involved in murder when he shot his former best friend Martin Kenny in 2005 in a dispute over missing drugs (stock image)Credit: Getty Images – Getty

And Eric Wilson once shot a man dead in cold blood after arranging to sell his victim a gun for his own protection.

Former drug dealer Roy Coddington paid the ultimate price after approaching Wilson when he received a death threat from dissident republican extortionists who he had no money to pay.

Coddington, 36, was slaughtered as he begged for his life in the dunes at Mornington beach near Drogheda on March 22, 2007.

Details of the savage double-cross are contained in The Hitmen – The Shocking True Story of a Family of Killers for Hire, the new book by Irish Sun journalists Stephen Breen and Owen Conlon.

Coddington was desperate to buy a Glock handgun for his own protection after first handing over €30,000 to the INLA and then receiving a severe beating as a warning when he failed to produce more.

He had gone to Wilson with what he thought was an ace in the hole.

The previous November, he had been out for a walk in the Tredagh estate in Drogheda where he lived, when he came across Wilson carrying out a broad daylight hit.

Wilson, who was then just 23, had been contracted by Finglas drug baron Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland to kill a man named Paul Reay after Reay and three others had been caught with €170,000 of Hyland’s cocaine.

Even though Reay had been charged with possession with intent to supply, Hyland ­suspected him of being a Garda informant and ordered Wilson to kill him as he was driven to court.

GARDA INTELLIGENCE

By sheer chance, Coddington, who lived on the same street as Reay, saw the whole thing. Garda intelligence indicated he made contact with the young hitman some time in March 2007 and asked him for a weapon.

Cops believe he did not threaten Wilson with exposure, but instead tried to point to the fact that he had kept his mouth shut.

Wilson appeared to agree and a meeting was set up for Mornington beach, downstream from Drogheda at the mouth of the Boyne estuary.

At around 4pm on March 22, 2007, Coddington drove his van to Tower Road near the beach and parked.

He got out and entered a blue Ford Focus in which Eric and his getaway driver from the Reay murder were sitting.

The car drove down a track towards the beach, before stopping near the sand dunes. There, Coddington was dragged from the vehicle into the dunes by Wilson, who pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest.

As his stunned victim lay there bleeding on the sand, Eric leaned over him and fired two more bullets into his head. Both men then turned and ran for their car before speeding away.

A German woman and her four children were just a few metres away on the other side of the dunes.

The woman came upon the scene and tried to comfort Coddington in his last moments, but his injuries were too serious and he died at the scene.

Gardai were initially baffled by the murder and it was assumed to be part of Coddington’s drug dealing past.

A number of his criminal associates thought likewise and immediately went into hiding.

REAL REASON

It was only some time later that the real reason emerged. It was the third murder attributed to Eric Wilson, who had begun his career as a hitman by killing his former best friend Martin Kenny in his native Ballyfermot following a dispute over drugs in May 2005.

Following the two Drogheda murders, Wilson moved to Spain, where in February 2008 he gunned down fugitive Dublin gangster Paddy Doyle on behalf of the Kinahan cartel.

Kinahans paid Wilson to whack Paddy Doyle in 2008
Kinahans paid Wilson to whack Paddy Doyle in 2008Credit: Courtpix
He is believed to have shot Christy Gilroy for ‘The Don’, last seen in 2009
He is believed to have shot Christy Gilroy for ‘The Don’, last seen in 2009Credit: Collect
The Hitmen, The Shocking True Story of a Family of Killers for Hire, is by Stephen Breen and Owen Conlon, bestselling authors of The Cartel
The Hitmen, The Shocking True Story of a Family of Killers for Hire, is by Stephen Breen and Owen Conlon, bestselling authors of The Cartel

Doyle had been caught with his fingers in the till by the Kinahans, who blamed him and a British associate for the disappearance of up to €500,000 of cartel cash.

Later that summer, Wilson used one of the many false passports in his possession to fly to Belfast and murder another drug trafficker, David ‘Babyface’ Lindsay, and his associate, Alan Napper, in his fifth contract slaying.

‘THE PANDA’

Lindsay had been feuding with Micka ‘The Panda’ Kelly, who lured him to the North on the pretence of paying him what he owed to settle their dispute.

Instead, Kelly sent them to a house in rural Co Down where Wilson was waiting and the pair were never seen again.

A subsequent PSNI search of the house revealed traces of Lindsay’s blood, but neither his nor Napper’s remains have ever been found. Disposing of bodies so that they vanished without trace became something of a forte for Eric Wilson.

He is believed to have shot and killed drug addict-turned-hitman Christy Gilroy for Eamon Dunne in 2009, to avoid Gilroy turning State’s evidence if arrested.

CHIEF SUSPECT

And he is the chief suspect in the disappearance and probable execution of a man named Alan Campbell in the south of Spain at around the same time.

Intelligence indicated Wilson would bury his victims in lime-lined pits so that they would decompose more quickly.

Gardai who have been investigating Wilson say much of his cold-blooded activity was down to the large amounts of cocaine he was taking.

At the height of his rampage across Ireland, he was demanding a kilo of coke — worth around €70,000 if sold on the streets — as his hit fee.

A source told the authors: “He was taking a kilo as payment and it was for his own personal use, not to sell onwards. Everybody we spoke to told us that if and when you do catch up with him, he won’t be taken alive.”

But, in the end, it was Wilson’s out-of-control drug habit which landed him 23 years behind bars.

On the night of June 5, 2010, he was drinking at an ex-pat bar in the coastal town of Mijas when a row erupted over a girl.

‘TALL DAN’

The girl told a British criminal named ‘Tall Dan’ Smith that Wilson was groping her leg and Smith, who at 6ft 5ins towered over the Dubliner, ordered him to clear off.

Smith was no shrinking violet and was wanted by police back in Essex, England, for blowing off another man’s fingers with a double barrel shotgun following a dispute with his son.

Wilson — known for his violent temper — had stormed off vowing revenge and returned with a 9mm Parabellum pistol and shot Smith seven times, including once through each of the Englishman’s testicles.

Unfortunately for him, dozens of people at the pub knew his name and he was eventually tracked down and arrested at a rural ranch called the Hacienda Sambargo outside the inland village of Coin.

Spanish police, forewarned by gardai of who they were dealing with, sent the bomb squad in to search the property.

Wilson was paid by Marlo Hyland to kill Paul Reay back in 2006
Wilson was paid by Marlo Hyland to kill Paul Reay back in 2006
Fifth contract slaying, Alan Napper, last seen in 2008
Fifth contract slaying, Alan Napper, last seen in 2008
He was caught for murder of  ‘Tall Dan’ Smyth on June 5, 2010
He was caught for murder of  ‘Tall Dan’ Smyth on June 5, 2010

BANG TO WRITES ON VILE YOBS

THE Wilson clan have left more than a dozen bodies strewn across Europe.

Brothers John, Eric, Keith and their nephew Luke grew up in Ballyfermot, Dublin, while their cousin Alan was raised in the south inner city.

Though John was the oldest, Eric was the first to become involved in murder when he shot his former best friend Martin Kenny in 2005 in a dispute over missing drugs.

Eric went on to carry out hits in Drogheda, the North and Spain before being jailed for 28 years for shooting English criminal ‘Tall Dan’ Smith in a coked-up rage at a Costa del Sol bar in June 2010.

Keith is also doing life for the contract slaying of Daniel Gaynor in Finglas in August 2010, while John — suspected of shooting up a Dublin pub — was whacked in September 2012.

Their cousin Alan was charged with and acquitted of the 2008 abduction and murder of Romanian girl Marioara Rostas in Dublin.

In 2017, Alan and youngster Luke Wilson were jailed over a Kinahan cartel plot to murder Hutch figure Gary Hanley.

The Hitmen – The Shocking True Story of a Family of Killers for Hire, is by Stephen Breen and Owen Conlon, bestselling authors of The Cartel.

It draws on exclusive access to wiretaps, case files and interviews with sources close to the clan.

In an unlocked shed at the back of the house, they found an M79 armour-piercing anti-tank grenade, two M75 ‘pineapple’ devices, two half-kilo slabs of PETN plastique and 180 rounds of AK-47 ammunition sitting on a shelf.

Inside the house — in a drawer in Wilson’s bedside locker — were aluminium electric detonators for the plastique, military explosive simulators . . . and two manuals on how to use it all. Fortunately, he would never get the use same.

  • THE Hitmen is published by Penguin ­Ireland and is available at Eason and online.
Grenades found at Wilson's home
Grenades found at Wilson’s home
Extracts from technical study by authorities in Spain in a case against Eric Wilson showing explosives.

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