GUILTY PLEA | 

Criminal linked to Drogheda feud pleads guilty to facilitating Keane Mulready Woods’ murder

The 17-year-old victim was last seen alive in January 2020 and his dismembered body parts were spread across different parts of Dublin over the following days.

The remains of Keane Mulready Woods were found in different parts of Dublin in January 2020. Photo: Garda/PA Wire© PA

Robin SchillerIndependent.ie

A major crime figure linked to the Drogheda feud has pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of teenager Keane Mulready Woods almost three years ago.

The 17-year-old victim was last seen alive in January 2020 and his dismembered body parts were spread across different parts of Dublin over the following days.

His murder was linked to a violent feud between two crime gangs in the Louth town which claimed four lives and saw around 100 violent incidents including shootings, assaults and fire bombings.

This morning Paul Crosby (27), of Rathmullen Park in Drogheda, appeared before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

He was arraigned on a new charge which stated that between January 11 and 13, 2020, both dates inclusive, he facilitated a criminal organisation in the commission of a serious offence in Drogheda, namely the murder of Keane Mulready Woods.

The offence is contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Paul Crosby stood up and replied “guilty” when the charge was read out to him by the registrar. The accused had been due to stand trial accused of the teenager's murder next year.

Paul Crosby

He was remanded in custody and will be appear before the non-jury court again on January 23 for sentencing.

The court heard his co-accused Gerard Cruise (48), with an address in Dublin 1, will also be entering a plea and defence counsel Bernard Condon SC asked for an arraignment date of January 13. He was not present in court and was remanded on continuing bail.

Paul Crosby has over 40 previous convictions and is currently serving a three-year jail term over a “mysterious” arson incident for which he was arrested while under surveillance by heavily armed gardaí investigating the feud.

He is considered a key associate of the crime gang led by two brothers that were feuding with the Maguire organised crime group in Drogheda.

Gardaí believe that Dublin criminal Robbie Lawlor was involved in the teen’s savage killing but he was shot dead in Belfast in April 2020 before he could be arrested in relation to the investigation.

Robbie Lawlor

Another man, Gerard ‘Ged’ McKenna (52), was imprisoned earlier this year after admitting to cleaning up the crime scene at his home after the murder.

The father-of-eight, also from Rathmullen Park, was jailed for four years for impeding the apprehension of the persons involved by disposing of material evidence.

During that sentencing hearing evidence was given that a blood-stained ballistic vest belonging to Keane Mulready Woods was found in a nearby burn site along with rubber gloves, a Swiss Army knife, and a part of a sofa.

A car parked in a laneway at the back of McKenna’s house contained a blood-stained axe and a bone fragment. The keys to that car, a red Toyota Corolla, were also found in McKenna's house.

The Central Criminal Court heard he had been directed to clean up the house by a now deceased criminal of "very significant notoriety" linked to several murders including that of a "very close friend". It's understood this was in reference to Robbie Lawlor.

When gardaí searched the property, it was covered in the teen's blood splatter and botched efforts had been made to clear evidence from the crime scene.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said that, while McKenna expressed shame and knew the family and the victim from birth, he "didn't care at the time" what was done to Keane in his family home, , albeit that he didn't expect the youth to be murdered and "in such a grotesque" way.


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