Ireland on the brink of major gang war after 17-year-old dismembered

Ireland’s gangs at war: How bitter feuds have left at least 26 dead in five years and now threaten to spiral out of control after 17-year-old was dismembered

  • Ireland has been plagued with gangland feuds since 2015 that have left 26 dead 
  • Kinahan-Hutch feud left 18 people dead in just three years up until early 2019
  • Five more people were then shot dead around Dublin during the Coolock feud 
  • Now a new spate of murders in Drogheda has delivered the most shocking violence to date and threatens even more killings

Ireland’s criminal underworld is on the brink of a major bloodletting after a 17-year-old was brutally murdered north of Dublin on Sunday night.

At least 26 people have died in feuds between rival gangs in the last five years, but the violence dramatically escalated on Sunday when Keane Mulready-Woods was beheaded and dismembered in a videotaped killing in the town of Drogheda.

Footage of the killing has been circulating online along with videos of balaclava-clad men brandishing guns and machetes while threatening vengeance.

The killing also threatens to combine two ongoing turf wars between gangs in Drogheda and in the northern Dublin suburb of Coolock which involves an outfit known as Mr Big.

Two feuds between gangs in Drogheda and Dublin are threatening to combine in a fresh round of blood-letting on Ireland’s streets following the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods

Mr Mulready-Woods is believed to have been murdered as part of a feud between two drugs gangs in Drogheda on Sunday night, before he was beheaded, dismembered and his body parts dropped at two locations in Dublin

Ireland has been plagued with gang tensions for decades, along with low-level attacks and occasional killings, but a major period of feuding began back in 2015 with the Hutch–Kinahan feud.

The killings began with the assassination of Gary Hutch, nephew of Hutch gang boss Gerry Hutch, at a villa near Marbella in Spain.

The alleged killer, James Quinn, was an associate of the Kinahan family – sparking a war between the two sides.

What followed was a series of shootings in Dublin and the surrounding counties that left some 18 people dead over the course of three years.

Roughly 60 people were arrested and many of the major players jailed. While the feud continues, there have been no killings directly linked to it since early 2019.

The killing has prompted both sides to vow vengeance, with videos of balaclava-clad men brandishing weapons posted online

But just as that feud was dying down, another sprung up in the Coolock area of Dublin, beginning with the murder of Zach Parker in January 2019.

Police believe that four other murders – those of Seán Little, Jordan Davis, Hamid Sanambar and Eoin Boylan – are linked to the feud, which is ongoing.

Now an overlapping feud in the town of Drogheda, 30 miles north of Dublin, is threatened to throw fresh fuel on the fire.

The violence there erupted on July 2018 when Owen Maguire, a suspected gang member, was shot multiple times outside his home.

While he survived the shooting, a bullet lodged in his spine and left him paralysed.

That sparked a spate of daylight shootings, arson attacks, kidnappings and stabbings that eventually led to the murder of Keith Branigan who was shot to death at a caravan park north of Drogheda in August last year.

A major escalation in tensions came in November last year when Richie Carberry, a known gang member involved in the trade for more than a decade, was shot dead outside his home in Bettystown.

Carberry, thought to be the brother-in-law of one of the men involved in the feud, had been preparing to move to Manchester to escape a bounty placed on his head when he was killed.

Keane Mulready-Woods is thought to have been killed in retaliation for Carberry’s murder, with the prime suspect being a notorious 35-year-old north Dublin hitman described by police as a ‘psychopath’.

Richie Carberry was killed in November last year as part of the Drogheda feud, which now threatens to drag in gangs from north Dublin

After Mulready-Woods went missing and just hours before his body was found, another shooting happened in Drogheda, with the target thought to be a gang member in a taxi

The hitman has links to the Coolock area of Dublin, where some of Keane’s remains were found on Monday, threatening to pull the two feuds together into a much-larger conflict.

Mailonline has seen two videos – both showing balaclava-clad men wielding weapons who claim to be involved in the feud, threatening reprisal attacks. 

Police launched searches at a number of properties in Drogheda after Keane’s murder, and one remains cordoned off and is suspected of being the murder scene.

But, so far, no arrests have been made – raising fears of further bloodshed. 

A statement from the Gardai said: ‘A number of searches have been conducted in the Drogheda area on the 14th January 2020, one search location remains ongoing at present.

‘Incident rooms have been established at Drogheda, Coolock and Mountjoy Garda Station with the investigation being co-ordinated from Drogheda Garda Station.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has visited Drogheda and Coolock Garda Station and assured the investigation teams of the full support of the Garda Organisation in this investigation. 

The latest round of bloodletting comes on the tail of the Hutch-Kinahan feud which saw at least 18 people, including Eddie Hutch (left) shot dead between 2015 and 2019 (pictured right, Hutch’s casket at his funeral)

Gerry Hutch dons a disguise as he leaves the funeral service for his brother Eddie Hutch

‘A family liaison officer remains in close contact with Keane’s family.

‘Investigating Gardaí are making the following appeals: 

• Information from anyone who has knowledge of Keane’s movements from when he was last seen on Sunday 12th January 2020 at approximately 6pm in the vicinity of Dominic’s Bridge, Drogheda

• Information or dashcam footage from anyone in the Moatview Drive, Moatview Gardens, Dublin 17 area on Monday 13th January 2020 from 9pm – 10pm 

• Information on the movements of a blue Volvo S40 bearing false registration plates 141 MO 1925 which was abandoned and set on fire in the Trinity Terrace, Dublin 3 area on the morning of Wednesday 15th January at approximately 1.30am

• Information on the whereabouts of a blue Volvo S40, 161 D 48646, which was the subject of an unauthorised taking from Sandymount, Co. Dublin on 15th December 2019

• Information on the clothing Keane was wearing at the time he went missing.

Any person with information can contact Gardaí at Drogheda Garda Station on 041 9874200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111, Crime Stoppers 1800 250 025 or any Garda station

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