Police investigating the brutal murder of a 17-year-old amid an escalating Irish gang war have arrested a man thought to be involved in his death – over a separate investigation into breaching bail conditions.
Officers apprehended the 24-year-old, who is said to be central to an ongoing feud in the town of Drogheda, early Monday morning after a major manhunt.
He was due to appear in court on Monday charged with violating parole while on bail for another serious offence that is not connected to the murder of teenager Keane Mulready-Woods.
Meanwhile rumours have been circulating that Mulready-Woods was killed in a row over flip-flops stolen from another suspect’s gym bag.
Keane Mulready-Woods, 17, was murdered and dismembered just over a week ago, with his limbs stuffed into a gym bag. It is thought a pair of flip flops were also inside the bag, amid rumors that the theft of a similar pair from a north Dublin hitman sparked the killing
Gardai pictured searching an area known locally as ‘The Banks’ near a house on Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, on Thursday, close to where the teen is thought to have been killed
The second suspect, a ‘psychotic’ 35-year-old north Dublin hitman, was attacked on the streets of Dublin as he was coming out of a gym in recent weeks and the flip-flops stolen.
Another man, an associate of Mulready-Woods who is also involved in the Drogheda feud, is then thought to have posed with the footwear in an image on social media.
A similar pair of flip flops are thought to have been found inside a Puma gym bag containing the severed limbs of Mulready-Woods, which were dumped in the Coolock area of Dublin last week, as a warning to the hitman’s rivals.
Police were fearful that the 24-year-old suspect could flee Ireland for England, the Irish Independent reported.
As a result they posted officers at Dublin Port and Airport to try and stop him.
They say he failed to sign on at a Garda station several time in December and has not been staying at a house where he is required to spend the night as a condition of his High Court bail.
‘Gardaí… intend to bring the suspect off the streets and into prison,’ the Independent reported. ‘If this happens it will ease tensions.’
Police are desperately trying to put an end to feuding in Drogheda which has seen a total of three people – including Mulready-Woods – killed in the last five months.
Keane Mulready-Woods went missing in Drogheda on January 12, and police believe he was taken to a house nearby where he was killed before his body parts were dumped in Dublin
Officers reportedly tried to put an end to the turf-war in August last year, shortly before the fatal shooting of Keith Branigan, during an informal sit-down with Owen Maguire – a gang boss involved in the fighting.
But associates of Maguire, who was paralysed from the waist down in an attempted assassination the previous year, told officers that they would not back down until three men on a hit-list had been killed.
The names included the Dublin hitman now believed to have murdered Mulready-Woods, the gunman who tried to kill Maguire, and a third gangland hitman linked to a number of assassination plots.
‘The officer had an obligation to do everything to help end the dispute, but his request was completely ignored by Maguire’s associates,’ a source told The Irish Sun.
Details of the hit-list emerged as it was revealed the Mulready-Woods last spoke with his mother over the phone on Sunday at around 6pm to tell her that he would be coming home late.
During the conversation he asked her to leave money on the mantelpiece to pay the taxi fare, but never made it home.
Mulready-Woods was dismembered and decapitated before his remains were dumped in two locations in Dublin, some 35 miles away from the crime scene in Drogheda, Co Louth
Keane Mulready-Woods is thought to have been caught up in a brutal gang war in the town of Drogheda
Until that point he had been on a curfew meaning he had to be home before dark, and had largely been observing it.
Mulready-Woods was abducted from Drogheda, Co Louth last Sunday before he was tortured in a house in Rathmullen Park in the town.
His severed head and limbs were found in two locations in Dublin last week.
The 17-year-old was involved in organised crime and detectives are investigating whether his killing was carried out in revenge for another recent murder or attack.
Not long after the meeting between police and Maguire, one of Maguire’s associates shot dead Keith Brannigan in Clogherhead, Co Louth.
Mulready-Woods’s murder comes amid two ongoing gang feuds – one in Drogheda and one in Coolock – which are now beginning to overlap
Just three months later, his associates also murdered Richard Carberry.
The chief suspect in the murder of Mulready-Woods is said to have vowed revenge after Carberry’s killing.
It has been reported that the gang feud will not stop until these three targeted are killed.
Yesterday it emerged the chief suspect believed to be responsible for dismembering Mulready-Woods ‘threatened to murder another man’.
The suspect, who is well known to Gardai, posted footage of threats against a man who has since fled the country.
As well as Mulready-Woods’ murder, two men were shot in Dublin this week, as well as a student, Cameron Blair, who was stabbed to death during a house party in Cork on Thursday night.
Two men were also shot and wounded outside a pub in the early hours of yesterday morning.