|Caused by||Drugs Territory|
|Methods||Beatings, stabbings, shootings and pipe bomb attacks, house fires|
The Drogheda feud is a series of allegedly connected crimes in Drogheda, Ireland. Four people have been killed as a result of the feud. The feud began in 2017 when a drugs gang split into two division’s. One fraction led by two brothers in their 20’s 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. The younger gang from the Moneymore estate led by the Boylan brothers split from the travellers in order to take control of the lucrative drugs business in and outside the estate.
Shooting of Owen Maguire
Owen Maguire was shot six times by a gunman on 5 July 2018 at his home in Cement Road, Drogheda. 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. His associates were the main targets of an operation by the Criminal Assets Bureau in April 2018. He is a former associate of convicted criminal Cornelius Price. One of the bullets that hit him was lodged in his spine. Maguire was left paralysed by the shooting.
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’. “ He called for more resources for Gardaí and a more intelligent use of resources. 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.
Since the shooting of Owen Maguire the two gangs have exchanged a series of tit-for-tat attacks.
Louth Gardaí had their leave restricted by November 2018 in order to control the violence.
Abduction and beating in Moneymore
In November 2018 a man is found stripped, beaten and stabbed in a house in Moneymore estate. A rival gang had abducted him a short time before. After Gardaí had rescued him, the fire brigade had to deal with a burning car that had gas cylinders inside. The abduction had happened about 24 hours after an arson attack that had destroyed a car.
Lawrence’s Park arson attack
Shooting of Brendan Maguire
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. He spent a number of weeks in hospital recovering from the shooting. He had previously been sentenced to a suspended sentence of ten months for brawling.
Hardmans Gardens shooting
In April 2019 a man was shot and wounded outside a house in Hardmans Gardens at approximately 4:30pm. Up to nine shots were fired at him from a busy street – Gardaí described the attack as “indiscriminate”. The shooting is followed by more arson and bomb attacks.
Emergency Response Unit deployed
Protest against feud
Killing of Keith Brannigan
On 27 August 2019 Keith Brannigan was shot dead in Clogherhead while working on the decking of a mobile home. The murder is being linked to the feud. More than 90 incidents including two attempted murders and petrol bombings had been logged by Gardaí.
Shooting of Richard Carberry
On November 2019 Richard Carberry arrived at his home around 11:40pm and was shot by a gunman. 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. He had survived a previous murder attempt the previous March and he had been formally warned by Gardaí that his life was in danger.
Mugging of Robbie Lawlor
Robbie Lawlor was a convicted criminal who was released from prison in December 2019. He was mugged after leaving a gym later that month, which was filmed by his assailants. The assailants stole his gym bag and flip-flops and posted photos of them wearing the latter after the mugging. The assault was allegedly at the behest of a criminal foe of Lawlor.
Shooting of John Myles
John Myles was a taxi driver who was shot while driving over the Bridge of Peace on 13 January 2020. Gardaí and the driver suspect the front-seat passenger was the intended target.
Death of Keane Mulready-Woods
On 12 January 2020 teenager Keane Mulready-Woods was last seen in Drogheda around 6pm. Human remains found in Coolock and Drumcondra on 13 and 15 January 2020 were confimed by Gardaí to be his by 17 January. His murder was part of the Drogheda feud. 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.
January 2020 rally
Drogheda Mayor Paul Bell organised a rally for 25 January. The mayor said that the protest was against gang feuding and crime that had affected the town for the previous two years as well as asking those responsible for the death of Keane Mulready-Woods to reveal the location of where the rest of Keane Mulready-Woods remains were. He also called for new legislation and new powers for Gardaí as well as extra resources. He also criticised those involved in taking illicit drugs as they contributed to the problems caused by the gangs. 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. Louise Mahoney, director of addiction treatment service the Red Door Project, called for more resources and long-term solutions.
A funeral for Keane Mulready-Woods was held on Thursday 13 February 2020 at Holy Family Church, Ballsgrove, Drogheda.
Shooting of Robbie Lawlor
On 4 April 2020 a man in his 30s was shot around 11:50am outside a house in Etna Drive, Ardoyne in north Belfast. He was suspected of ordering the murder and dismembering of Keane Mulready-Woods. The man was originally from Dublin, but had lived in County Meath and was heavily involved in organised crime, including the Drogheda feud. 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. Three men suspected of the murder were arrested and questioned by the PSNI at Musgrave police station.
The shooting was condemned by Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, as a murder, as a danger to the local community and due to the additional pressures caused by coronavirus pandemic. The shooting was also condemned by Minister for Justice Naomi Long and Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly.
Fred reports Sunday 10th May 2020: Last week the Sunday paper, asked numerous Questions in relation to the Lawlor murder in Ardoyne, Belfast, and especially zoomed in on his Girlfriend. Questions raised included why she crossed the Border and went to the house Lawlor stayed in the night before his death, and Why certain items were removed from the house? Also the paper reported that the PSNI were eager to talk to this woman, because she may hold Vital information. The murder of Lawlor is getting more Murky and all encompassing day by the day. All Fred can say at present is, whoever this mysterious woman may be, she certainly is well Connected, and hopefully Protected, because the paper also stated she received a Garda GIM Notice.
Many Questions to be asked in the meantime. Time will tell. The detail above shows that eventually over time with commitment the truth about gangsters and Feuds emerges and the story is told and the Police and the Courts do their duty and sentence people to prison ie if like Lawlor they are not shot by their own ilk.