This Drogheda Feud,maybe lighting up, again, the Riddle of the Sands, is Far from Ended.

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Fears feud thug could return home to Drogheda after kidnap plot acquittal in UK

Exclusive: Mark Kavanagh (34), of Yellowbatter in Drogheda – who is aligned with paralysed Drogheda mob boss Owen Maguire and Cornelius Price – was one of five people on trial since last November for conspiracy to kidnap two brothers in the UK.

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Mark Kavanagh
Mark Kavanagh (Image: Paul Nicholls)

There are fears a prominent member of the Price-Maguire Organised Crime gang will return to Drogheda after he was acquitted for conspiracy to kidnap two brothers in the UK.

Mark Kavanagh (34), of Yellowbatter in Drogheda – who is aligned with paralysed Drogheda mob boss Owen Maguire and Cornelius Price – was one of five people on trial since last November for conspiracy to kidnap two brothers in the UK.

Danny Bridges, 41, of Stourport-on-Severn; Lisa Finnerty, 39, of Lancashire, as well as Kavanagh denied two charges of conspiracy to falsely imprison, two charges of conspiracy to blackmail and two of conspiracy to kidnap the brothers between July 7 and 17 2020.

All three were acquitted of the charges on Monday by a jury following the trial which commenced on November 9 last year at Wood Green Crown Court.

Darren McClean, from Ireland and living in Cottenham in Cambridgeshire; Quincy Bramble, 33, of East London were also cleared of the same charges.

However, the jury is still deliberating on two charges against McClean and Bramble of conspiracy to false imprison the brothers and two charges of conspiracy to blackmail the brothers

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Gang boss Cornelius Price, originally from Gormanston, Co Meath, has been unable to stand trial with his five associates after suffering a brain injury.

Cornelius Price (Image: Collins Photo Agency)

The 40-year-old gangland criminal is charged with conspiring to falsely imprison and blackmail the two brothers in July 2020. His trial has been adjourned indefinitely due to his ill health.

Price – whom gardai believe was a key figure in one of the two gangs involved in the Drogheda feud – moved to the UK following a wave of violence in the Co Louth town – including the killing of teen Keane Mulready Woods in January 2020.

Kavanagh, who has been described by a senior investigator in an affidavit filed with the High Court as part of a Criminal Assets Bureau case against mob boss Owen Maguire and his brother Brendan, as “a prominent member of the Price-Maguire OCG,” also fled to the UK around the same time as he is a main target for the so-called Anti-Maguire faction.

Owen Maguire
Owen Maguire

“Kavanagh left the country in 2020 at the height of the Drogheda feud but now that things have died down there’s a fear that it’s likely he will return and reunite with Owen Maguire,” a source told The Star.

“Kavanagh and his two co-accused who were also acquitted enjoyed major celebrations on Monday night now that they now free,” the source said, adding “Kavanagh left the country in 2020 at the height of the Drogheda feud but now that things have died down there’s a fear that it’s likely he will return and reunite with Owen Maguire.”

However, Kavanagh, who in 2019 had 27 previous convictions here, has two live bench warrants for his arrest.

One of the warrants is for the purpose of sentencing him after he was convicted of road traffic offences – including a fourth no insurance offence.

The second warrant relates to an offence of having €400 worth of cocaine in his bedroom. He was convicted in his absence of that offence in January 2020.

In March 2019, Kavanagh was given a two month suspended sentence for being in possession of a steel baseball bat and two large pickaxe handles, made for causing injury to a person.

“If he returns here those warrants should be executed and he will be arrested,” the source continued.

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On Monday when the jury delivered their not guilty verdicts, His Honour Judge KC Dodd said: “Mr Kavanagh, Mr Bridges, and Ms Finnerty that’s it so far as this case is concerned. You are free to leave the dock,” to which Kavanagh replied: “Thank you.”

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