Killing of Keane Mulready-Woods

Keane Mulready-Woods of Drogheda, County Louth, was an Irish teenager who disappeared on 12 January 2020, and whose dismembered body was then found in Coolock, County Dublin. More of his remains were found in Drumcondra in a burnt out car the following week.[1]

Keane Mulready-Woods
Born6 February 2002
Drogheda, Ireland
Died12 January 2020 (aged 17)
Drogheda, Ireland
Cause of deathHomicide
Body discovered13–15 January, 2020 (various remains)
Known forMurder victim

Background edit

Early life edit

Keane Mulready-Woods grew up in Drogheda and attended St Oliver’s Community College.[2] He was from a working-class family; he was born to Elizabeth and Barry, and had three brothers and one sister.[2][3] He was a fan of motocross, owned his own scrambler and was described by his cousin as the "best scrambler rider in Drogheda".[2]

Involvement in crime edit

Mulready-Woods was tempted into petty crime in his mid teens by local criminals with promises of wealth and prestige.[2] His involvement escalated, as he was involved with one of the factions in the Drogheda feud.[2]

The faction began using petrol bombs and pipe bombs to threaten rival criminals and their families.[2] It was also heavily involved in the illegal drug trade in the town and it used intimidation to enforce collection of debts.[2]

Disappearance edit

Mulready-Woods was last seen around 6 pm on 12 January 2020 at St Dominic's Bridge in Drogheda. He had recently called his mother to ask her to leave money out for his taxi home later that evening.[4] His sister posted a message on Facebook the afternoon of the following day, asking if anyone had seen him.[2]

Human remains found edit

Coolock edit

On 13 January 2020 a local man found a sports bag with human remains at the junction of Moatview Gardens and Moatview Drive in Coolock.[5] The bag had been thrown from a dark coloured passing car.[6] The remains were found around 10pm.[7] The bag also contained flip-flops, which were taken as a warning not to cross Robbie Lawlor, a rival criminal whose flip-flops had been stolen in a mugging the month before. [8]

Drumcondra edit

Further human remains, believed to be a head and hands, were found in a burnt-out car in Trinity Terrace, Drumcondra in the early hours of Wednesday 15 January.[9][10]

Drogheda edit

The torso of the teen was finally found on a site next to Rathmullen Park in Drogheda on 1 April 2021. A DNA test confirmed the identity of the torso relating to the teen.[11]

Identification edit

On the night of 15 January, Gardaí confirmed that DNA tests had confirmed that the limbs found in Coolock were those of Keane Mulready-Woods.[12] On Friday 17 January Gardaí confirmed that the partial remains found in the car had been identified as those of Keane Mulready-Woods.[1]

Aftermath edit

Garda investigation edit

Gardaí are investigating links between the death of Keane Mulready-Woods and a criminal feud in Drogheda which has claimed three lives.[12] There are incident rooms in Coolock, Mountjoy and Drogheda Garda stations with the investigation being coordinated from the latter.[1]

In the early hours of 20 January, a main suspect in the case was arrested.[13] Gardaí had watched both Dublin Airport and Dublin Port closely because they feared he would flee to England.[13] He was expected to appear in court on charges of breaching bail conditions.[13] The arrest warrant is not related to the death of Keane Mulready-Woods, but to a separate case.[13] He is connected to a crime feud in Drogheda.[13]

Gardaí suspect that the killers intended to dump the remains in front of the homes of the leaders of the gang the teenager was associated with as a warning.[14] They also suspect that this plan was abandoned after those with the remains nearly encountered Gardaí.[14]

Gardaí believe the deceased was killed in Drogheda and have searched the banks of the River Boyne near to a house where they suspect he was killed.[14]

Detectives working on the case have no cause of death to base their inquiry on as the fatal injury is believed to have been dealt to the torso, which was still missing as of February 2020.[14] They have not ruled out the possibility that the torso was disposed of deliberately so as to frustrate the investigation.[14]

Prosecutions have proven to be difficult if remains of the deceased are not found or only partial remains have been found.[14] It has been done in the murder of Elaine O'Hara but Gardaí described that case as an exception and that prosecutions in such cases were "extremely difficult".[14]

Two men were arrested on 20 February 2020.[15]

Funeral edit

A funeral was held on Thursday 13 February 2020 at Holy Family Church, Ballsgrove, Drogheda.[16] Father Phil Gaffney conducted the funeral service and condemned the killing as well as the feud during the homily.[16] He described the deceased as "young and naive enough to fall in with the wrong people, not knowing or anticipating the dire consequences".[16] He also said "I hope that his death will be a warning to other young teenagers who are being groomed by the ruthless criminals; that the promise of money and gifts will inevitably end in tragedy".[16] He also criticised people who took illegal recreational drugs as fuelling the violence of the feud.[16]

There was a significant Garda presence at the funeral.[16] Several hundred people attended the funeral mass.[16] Gardaí had requested that media did not enter the church during the funeral service.[16] Media had gathered outside.[16]

When the funeral cortege arrived, a young man broke off from the crowd outside the church and approached the media, telling them to leave.[16] He said if they were still outside the church after the funeral was over he would break their cameras.[16]

After the funeral, two men ran over to the media calling them "scum" but they were stopped by Gardaí.[16]

The deceased was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Drogheda.[16]

Gardaí were prepared to keep an eye on social gatherings related to the funeral after the burial.[16]

At the time of his funeral his torso had not been recovered.[14]

Charges edit

On 28 February 2020 a 50-year-old man was charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of another person in relation to the death of Keane Mulready-Woods.[17][18]

Belfast shooting edit

On 4 April 2020 Robbie Lawlor, aged 36, was shot dead around 11:50am outside a house in Etna Drive, Ardoyne in north Belfast.[19][20][21][22][23] He was suspected of ordering the murder and dismembering of Keane Mulready-Woods.[19][20][21] The man was originally from Dublin, but had lived in County Meath and was heavily involved in organised crime, including the Drogheda feud.[19][20][21] He had travelled to Belfast the morning he was shot and the PSNI and Garda Síochána believe he had travelled to Belfast in the hours before he was shot, possibly to collect debts.[19][20][21] As well as being a suspect in the death of Keane Mulready-Woods he was suspected of being responsible for a number of other killings.[19][20][21] 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.[19][20][21] Three men suspected of the murder were arrested and questioned by the PSNI at Musgrave police station.[19][20][21]

Three suspects were arrested on Saturday, a fourth was arrested on Sunday.[22]

The shooting was condemned by Detective Sergeant Jason Murphy, as a murder, as a danger to the local community and due to the additional pressures caused by coronavirus pandemic.[19][20][21] The shooting was also condemned by Minister for Justice Naomi Long and Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly.[19][20][21]

Lawlor was well known to Gardaí for being involved in serious and organised crime.[23] He had over 100 convictions and had been released from prison in December 2019.[23] He had been warned by Gardaí that his life was in danger before he went to Belfast.[23]

Lawlor was mugged after leaving a gym in December 2019, which was filmed by his assailants.[8] The assailants stole his gym bag and flip-flops and posted photos of them wearing the latter after the mugging.[8] The assault was allegedly at the behest of a criminal foe of Lawlor.[8] 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.[8]

The PSNI suspect that a single gunman shot Lawlor.[22]

Charges in relation to Mulready-Woods death edit

In October 2020, Gerard McKenna, a 50-year-old man from Drogheda was charged with impeding the prosecution or apprehension of another person in relation to the death of Keane Mulready-Woods.[24] The trial is scheduled to begin on 17 January 2022, due to a backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[24]

On 8 December 2020 a man was arrested in connection with the death of Keane Mulready-Woods.[25] Two more men, both in their early 20s, were arrested in relation to his death on 10 December and detained in Dundalk and Mountjoy Garda stations.[25] The man arrested two days before continued to be held in Drogheda Garda station.[25]

Further arrests edit

On 17 February 2021 a 29-year-old woman who was associated with Paul Crosby was arrested by Gardaí investigating the murder and dismemberment of a 17-year-old on 12 January 2020 in Drogheda.[26] She is suspected of playing a central role in the logistics of the murder, including cleaning up the crime scene.[26] A 23-year-old man described as "a very minor player" was also arrested and suspected of helping clean up the crime scene.[26] The murder is suspected to have been carried out by the "anti-Maguire" gang in Drogheda.[26]

The 29-year-old woman was with Paul Crosby on 13 January 2020 when a gunman tried to target Crosby but shot the driver of their taxi, leaving Crosby uninjured.[26]

On 19 February 2021, Paul Crosby was arrested in Mountjoy Prison and taken to nearby Mountjoy Garda station by Gardaí investigating the same murder.[27] He was brought from prison to the station under a section 42 warrant, which means he can be detained for 24 hours.[27]

On 2 May 2021 three men were arrested as part of the investigation.[28] A man in his late 20s was arrested on 8 May 2021 and being details under section 42 of the Criminal Justice Act 1999.[28]

On 17 May 2021 Paul Crosby appeared before Drogheda District Court sitting in Dundalk Court charged with the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods. In December 2022 he was convicted of facilitating Mulready-Woods' murder.[29]

Men sent forward to Special Criminal Court edit

On 24 May 2021 two men charged with the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods were sent forward to face trial in the Special Criminal Court.[30]

Man jailed for cleaning and removing evidence edit

Gerard McKenna of Rathmullen Park was jailed in March 2022 for four years for cleaning and removing evidence from his home.[31] McKenna had met a number of men in a cafe in West Street on 12 January 2020.[31] The men ordered him to stay away from his house, so he stayed with a friend for the night.[31] He was told to clean the house when he returned, despite it already having been cleaned.[31] He bought some paint and three pallets of flooring from a friends house to replace the floor.[31]

Forensics teams found evidence of blood of the deceased in several places in McKenna's house, blood spatter in part of a couch in the back garden and on the other part of the couch that had been taken 70m to a green area to be burned.[31] A ballistic vest belonging to the deceased was found at the latter site - McKenna denied any knowledge of the vest.[31] A car parked in a nearby lane also had evidence, including an axe with blood stains and a bone fragment.[31] The keys to the car were left in McKenna's home.[31]

A detective said that a certain criminal, now deceased, had ordered McKenna to stay away from the house.[31]

Man pleads guilty to facilitating murder edit

In December 2022 Paul Crosby pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods.[32] He was remanded in custody for sentencing in January 2023.[32]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Human remains found in car confirmed as being those of Keane Mulready-Woods". Irish Examiner. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Gallagher, Conor (17 January 2020). "Who was murdered teenager Keane Mulready-Woods?". Irish Times. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  3. ^ O'Hanlon, Aengus (10 February 2020). "Funeral details of murdered and dismembered teen Keane Mulready-Woods announced". DublinLive. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  4. ^ Murray, Sean (15 January 2020). "Gardaí name victim discovered in Coolock on Monday as 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods". Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  5. ^ O'Connell, Patrick (2 February 2020). "'I opened the bag and saw a human leg, arms and flip-flops' - man who found remains of Keane Mulready Woods". Sunday World. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Paul (14 January 2020). "Human remains found in bag in Dublin estate". RTE News. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  7. ^ O'Keefe, Cormac (14 January 2020). "Gardaí hoping DNA test will identify body parts found in Dublin". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ O'Keefe, Cormac (15 January 2020). "'New low': Remains found in burnt out car believed to be decapitated head". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  10. ^ O'Keefe, Cormac (16 January 2020). "Cormac O'Keeffe: Gang bosses see young operatives as 'expendable'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  11. ^ Ken, Foy (1 April 2021). "Torso of dismembered Drogheda teenager (17) identified". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  12. ^ a b O'Keefe, Cormac; McEnroe, Juno (16 January 2020). "Teenager's murder 'savage, shocking'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d e Foy, Ken (20 January 2020). "Suspect in Keane Mulready-Woods murder arrested after major garda manhunt". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Lally, Conor (14 February 2020). "Missing torso a setback to Mulready-Woods murder inquiry". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Two men arrested in Keane-Mulready-Woods murder investigation". 20 February 2020.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Lally, Conor (13 February 2020). "'Appalling wickedness and evil': Funeral of Keane Mulready-Woods takes place". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  17. ^ Gaffney, Sharon (28 February 2020). "Man in court over murder of Keane Mulready-Woods". RTÉ News. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Man charged in connection with murder of Keane Mulready-Woods". 28 February 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i 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.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i Halpin, Hayley (4 April 2020). "Man shot dead outside house in Belfast was suspect in Mulready-Woods case". Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reynolds, Paul (4 April 2020). "Man shot in Belfast was suspect in Mulready-Woods murder case". RTÉ News. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  22. ^ a b c "Robbie Lawlor: 'Single gunman' murdered Dublin man in Ardoyne". BBC News. 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  23. ^ a b c d Reynolds, Paul (5 April 2020). "Teenager among those being questioned over murder of Dublin criminal". RTE News. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  24. ^ a b O'Riordan, Alison (22 October 2020). "Man (50) to stand trial accused of impeding investigation into the murder of Keane Mulready Woods". Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  25. ^ a b c "Two men arrested over death of Keane Mulready-Woods". RTÉ News. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  26. ^ a b c d e Foy, Ken (18 February 2021). "Female associate of jailed criminal quizzed on 'clean-up' after savage murder of boy (17)". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  27. ^ a b Foy, Ken (19 February 2021). "Notorious feud criminal arrested in jail as part of probe into gruesome murder of boy (17)". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  28. ^ a b Burke, Céimin (8 May 2021). "Gardaí make fresh arrest over murder of Drogheda teen Keane Mulready-Woods". Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  29. ^ Reynolds, Paul (5 December 2022). "Man pleads guilty to facilitating Mulready-Woods murder". RTÉ News.
  30. ^ Donnelly, Nicola (24 May 2021). "Two men charged with murder of Keane Mulready-Woods to face trial in Special Criminal Court". Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Reynolds, Paul (8 March 2022). "Man who cleaned house where Keane Mulready-Woods was murdered is jailed". RTÉ News. Retrieved 24 May 2024.
  32. ^ a b Reynolds, Paul (5 December 2022). "Man pleads guilty to facilitating Mulready-Woods murder". RTÉ News. Retrieved 30 December 2022.