The Drogheda feud is a series of allegedly connected crimes in Drogheda, Ireland. Four people have been killed as a result of the feud.[1] The feud began in 2017 when a drugs gang split into two divisions, one faction led by two brothers in their 20s from the Moneymore estate on the north side of town and the other led by Traveller boss Owen Maguire leader of the Maguire gang, based on the cement road.[citation needed]

Drogheda Feud
Caused byDrugs Territory
MethodsBeatings, stabbings, shootings and pipe bomb attacks, house arson

Background edit

Since 2018 two criminal gangs in Drogheda have tried to control the illegal drug trade in the town.[2]

Shooting of Owen Maguire edit

Owen Maguire was shot six times by a gunman on 5 July 2018 at his home in Cement Road, Drogheda.[3] He was known to Gardaí though his most serious conviction was for affray near his home, for which he was sentenced to six months imprisonment.[3] His associates were the main targets of an operation by the Criminal Assets Bureau in April 2018.[3] He is a former associate of convicted criminal Cornelius Price.[3] One of the bullets that hit him was lodged in his spine.[3] Maguire was left paralysed by the shooting.[4]

Local councillor Kenneth Flood said “In July, after the shooting, gardáí openly said they didn’t have the resources to police the division. Then you have the cops saying they don’t have enough people to do the job. The criminals are looking at this and they’re thinking, ‘It’s Christmas’. "[2] He called for more resources for Gardaí and a more intelligent use of resources.[2] TD Fergus O'Dowd echoed the call for more resources and said that Drogheda Gardaí must be afforded all necessary resources to tackle recent crime.[2]

Since the shooting of Owen Maguire the two gangs have exchanged a series of tit-for-tat attacks.[2]

Louth Gardaí had their leave restricted by November 2018 in order to control the violence.[2]

Abduction and beating in Moneymore edit

In November 2018 a man was found stripped, beaten and stabbed in a house in Moneymore estate.[5] A rival gang had abducted him a short time before.[5] After Gardaí had rescued him, the fire brigade had to deal with a burning car that had gas cylinders inside.[5] The abduction had happened about 24 hours after an arson attack that had destroyed a car.[5]

Lawrence's Park arson attack edit

A house in Lawrence's Park, near Moneymore estate, was petrol-bombed.[5] Further petrol-bomb attacks were seen in the following days.[5]

Shooting of Brendan Maguire edit

Brendan Maguire, brother of Owen, was shot on 26 February 2019 as he walked out of a toyshop in the M1 retail park during broad daylight.[6][7] He spent a number of weeks in hospital recovering from the shooting.[7] He had previously received a suspended sentence of ten months for brawling.[8]

Local politician Ged Nash criticised Gardaí senior management and the minister for not retaining more probationers.[6] He also said that the gangs were "running riot".[6]

Hardmans Gardens shooting edit

In April 2019 a man was shot and wounded outside a house in Hardmans Gardens at approximately 4:30pm.[5][9] Up to nine shots were fired at him from a busy street - Gardaí described the attack as "indiscriminate".[5] The shooting was followed by more arson and bomb attacks.[5][9]

Emergency Response Unit deployed edit

In April 2019 Garda Commissioner Drew Harris announced that the Garda Emergency Response Unit was deployed to Drogheda as part of the plan to deal with the feuding gangs.[10][11]

Protest against feud edit

On 4 May 2019 there was a protest by around 500 people in Drogheda against the feud.[12] Mayor Frank Godfrey said that the feud did not reflect the people of Drogheda or their values.[12][5]

Murder of Keith Brannigan edit

On 27 August 2019 Keith Brannigan was shot dead in Clogherhead while working on the decking of a mobile home.[1][13] The murder is being linked to the feud.[1][13][5] More than 90 incidents including two attempted murders and petrol bombings had been logged by Gardaí.[1]

Murder of Richard Carberry edit

On 4 November 2019 Richard Carberry arrived at his home around 11:40pm and was shot by a gunman.[14][5] Gardaí regarded him as a drug dealer who had supplied one side in the feud and one line of inquiry is that he may have been killed by the same side of the feud that murdered Brannigan.[14][5] He had survived a previous murder attempt the previous March and he had been formally warned by Gardaí that his life was in danger.[14]

Mugging of Robbie Lawlor edit

Robbie Lawlor was a convicted criminal who was released from prison in December 2019.[15] He was mugged after leaving a gym later that month, which was filmed by his assailants.[15] The assailants stole his gym bag and flip-flops and posted photos of them wearing the latter after the mugging.[15] The assault was allegedly at the behest of a criminal foe of Lawlor.[15]

Shooting of John Myles edit

John Myles was a taxi driver who was shot while driving over the Bridge of Peace on 13 January 2020.[16][17][5] Gardaí and the driver suspect the front-seat passenger was the intended target.[17][16][5]

Murder of Keane Mulready-Woods edit

On 12 January 2020 teenager Keane Mulready-Woods was last seen in Drogheda around 6pm.[18] Human remains found in Coolock and Drumcondra on 13 and 15 January 2020 were confirmed by Gardaí to be his by 17 January.[19][5][20] His murder was part of the Drogheda feud.[21] The presence of flip-flops in the bag of Keane Mulready-Woods remains dumped in Coolock was widely interpreted as a threat not to cross Lawlor.[15]

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said on 17 January 2020 that he wanted to set up a task force to tackle crime in Drogheda similar to one set up to tackle crime in North inner city Dublin.[22]

January 2020 rally edit

Drogheda Mayor Paul Bell organised a rally for 25 January.[23] The mayor said that the protest was against gang feuding and crime that had affected the town for the previous two years, and to ask those responsible for the death of Keane Mulready-Woods to reveal the location of the rest of his remains.[23] He called for new legislation, new powers, and extra resources for Gardaí,[23] and criticised those involved in taking illicit drugs as they contributed to the problems caused by the gangs.[23] Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín attended.[23] Louise Mahoney, director of addiction treatment service the Red Door Project, called for more resources and long-term solutions.[23]

Funeral edit

A funeral for Keane Mulready-Woods was held on Thursday 13 February 2020 at Holy Family Church, Ballsgrove, Drogheda.[24]

Murder of Robbie Lawlor edit

On 4 April 2020, Robbie Lawlor was shot around 11:50am outside a house in Etna Drive, Ardoyne in north Belfast.[25][26] He was suspected of ordering the murder and dismembering of Keane Mulready-Woods.[25][26] Lawlor was originally from Dublin, but had lived in County Meath and was heavily involved in organised crime, including the Drogheda feud.[25][26] He had been threatened by one faction in the Drogheda feud but was also at odds with a major Dublin criminal who is suspected of several murders including that of Alan Ryan.[25][26] Three men suspected of the murder were arrested and questioned by the PSNI at Musgrave police station.[25][26]

The shooting was condemned by Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, as a callous murder, as a danger to the local community and adding to stress in the community during the coronavirus pandemic.[25][26] The shooting was also condemned by Minister for Justice Naomi Long and Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly.[25][26]

In June 2020, Warren Crossan, a dissident Republican who had been arrested after the murder of Robbie Lawlor, was shot dead in the Rodney Drive area of West Belfast.[27] [28] Police are following two lines of investigation into his shooting - one into the shooting of Robbie Lawlor, and one into a feud among dissident Republicans.[28]

In September 2020, Gardaí raided a number of properties, including that of a leader of a Drogheda gang.[29] The raid was part of investigations into the murder of Robbie Lawlor, and organised crime in general.[29] Lawlor was suspected of being behind a failed 2018 attempt on the life of the gang leader.[29] Gardaí believe Lawlor was murdered as payback for both the attempted murder of the gang leader and the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods.[29] The primary suspects are two Limerick criminals involved in organised crime for over a decade.[29]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Murder investigation underway after man killed in Louth shooting". Irish Examiner. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f MacNamee, Garreth (14 November 2018). "Stabbings, hatchet attacks, kidnappings and car bombs: Drogheda's gang feud is boiling over". Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Foy, Ken (6 July 2018). "Man who was shot six times at his home 'extremely lucky to be alive'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  4. ^ O'Keefe, Cormac (16 January 2020). "Cormac O'Keeffe: Gang bosses see young operatives as 'expendable'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Drogheda feud timeline: main events so far". The Irish Times. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b c MacNamee, Garreth (28 February 2019). "Brother of Drogheda criminal shot just days after armed support cover and overtime cuts".
  7. ^ a b Foy, Kenneth (11 July 2019). "Criminal linked to gang feud walks free from court". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Man was involved in vicious street brawl". Drogheda Independent. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Man injured in shooting at Hardman's Gardens". Drogheda Life. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  10. ^ Hussey, Sinéad (30 April 2019). "Gardaí deploy Emergency Response Unit to tackle Drogheda feuding gangs". RTE News. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  11. ^ O'Riordan, Sean (30 April 2019). "Emergency Response Unit sent to Drogheda to stop feuding drug gangs". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b O'Sullivan, Colman (4 May 2019). "Drugs feud 'does not reflect the people of Drogheda' - Lord Mayor". RTE News. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  13. ^ a b Reynolds, Paul (28 August 2019). "Appeal for information over murder of Keith Brannigan in Co Louth". RTE News. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b c Lally, Conor; Burns, Sarah (5 November 2019). "Man (39) shot dead in Co Meath was regarded as senior gang figure". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  15. ^ a b c d e Carroll, Rory; McDonald, Henry (10 April 2020). "Police fear gangland feud from Irish Republic now being fought in Belfast". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  16. ^ a b Ní Aodha, Gráinne (14 January 2020). "Taxi driver shot in Drogheda speaks: 'I could have bled to death'". Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  17. ^ a b MacNamee, Gareth (14 January 2020). "Intended target of Drogheda shooting identified as feud seeps into north Dublin gangland territory". Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  18. ^ Murray, Sean (15 January 2020). "Gardaí name victim discovered in Coolock on Monday as 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods". Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  19. ^ O'Keefe, Cormac; McEnroe, Juno (16 January 2020). "Teenager's murder 'savage, shocking'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Human remains found in car confirmed as being those of Keane Mulready-Woods". Irish Examiner. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Taoiseach and Justice Minister to meet gardaí in Drogheda". Irish Examiner. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  22. ^ McEnroe, Juno (17 January 2020). "Varadkar pledges to put Drogheda killers behind bars". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Hussey, Sinéad (25 January 2020). "Thousands attend rally against violence in Drogheda". RTÉ News.
  24. ^ Lally, Conor (13 February 2020). "'Appalling wickedness and evil': Funeral of Keane Mulready-Woods takes place". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g Lally, Conor; Ferguson, Amanda (4 April 2020). "Man shot dead in Belfast was suspect in Keane Mulready-Woods murder". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g Halpin, Hayley (4 April 2020). "Man shot dead outside house in Belfast was suspect in Mulready-Woods case". Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  27. ^ MacNamee, Garreth (27 June 2020). "Man arrested over murder of Dublin criminal Robbie Lawlor shot dead in west Belfast". Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d e MacNamee, Garreth (23 September 2020). "Gardaí raid Drogheda mob boss's home as they probe €50K payment to murder serial killer Robbie Lawlor". Retrieved 24 September 2020.