child's play | 

Drogheda feud gang using boy (12) to deliver cocaine to customers

“This crew don’t care about anyone but themselves and the fact that they are using a child to carry out this kind of activity says everything about them,” a source said.

Owen Maguire (left) and his brother Brendan (right)

Cornelius Price

Keane Mulready Woods

Ken FoySunday World

One of the feuding gangs in Drogheda have been using a 12-year-old boy to deliver cocaine and other drugs to their customers in recent weeks, it can be revealed.

The gang led by paralyzed criminal Owen Maguire “have put the child to work” and he is suspected of regularly carrying out drug runs on their behalf in the Co Louth town.

“This crew don’t care about anyone but themselves and the fact that they are using a child to carry out this kind of activity says everything about them,” a source said.

In January, the government signed off on proposed legislation that could see criminals who are convicted of grooming children into a life of crime face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Justice Minister Simon Harris said at the time that the practice of grooming children is probably more widespread than anyone would like to believe.

Another child who had links to the Maguire gang, Keane Mulready Woods was aged just 17 when he became the victim of a Drogheda feud murder in January 2020 which is considered one of the most gruesome in the history of the State. It was widely suspected that the teenager was the victim of grooming by gangs like the Maguire mob.

Cornelius Price

The Maguire faction have been under major pressure from gardai and their criminal rivals and the death in the UK of key gang member Cornelius Price is considered a major blow to them.

Owen Maguire did not travel to Rochdale for Price’s funeral on Monday and the house bound gangster is said to be “increasingly isolated and paranoid.”

“Even though Price was sick for a very long time and incapable of any criminal activity during that time, his death robs Maguire of one of his closest associates,” a source said.

The Maguire gang are the suspects for three of the four Drogheda feud murders.

Last month two close associates of Owen Maguire were arrested and questioned in relation to the first murder linked to the deadly criminal dispute – the fatal shooting of Keith Branigan at Clogherhead, Co Louth, in August, 2019.

The 32-year-old and 38-year-old were later released without charge. “There is a feeling that the net is closing in on this gang,” a source said.

Earlier last month properties belonging to mob boss Owen Maguire and his brother Brendan were described as “uninhabitable ruins” in the High Court.

A senior officer said in an affidavit the properties in Monaghan and Cavan were unoccupied and uninhabitable.

Counsel for CAB added both houses in question were in a state of disrepair and “indeed derelict.”

Judge Alex Owens, who said he was familiar with tone of the properties in Co Cavan, granted an application to allow a receiver to sell the homes.

Keane Mulready Woods

They were deemed the proceeds of crime at a hearing in January to which neither of the Maguires had turned up.

AB was granted an order to sell the properties “privately or by public treaty.”

Judge Owens found in favour of CAB in January who wanted two properties, two vehicles, a Rolex watch and €305,000 in cash declared the proceeds of crime.

A receiver has already been given the power to sell off the A Class Mercedes Benz, a Ford Transit and the watch worth €16,500.

In making the order Judge Owens said the brothers had very little in regular income over a long period of time and the sworn affidavits by gardai were ‘well-founded’.

“The overall situation points very strongly to the proceeds of crime,” the judge said.

Owen Maguire has been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot outside his home by the slain mobster Robbie Lawlor in 2018 and is based in Drogheda.

Maguire’s gang are suspected of involvement in the murder of Lawlor in Belfast in April, 2020 – the last murder linked to the Drogheda feud.

His brother Brendan, who also survived being shot as part of the lethal dispute, was served his legal papers at his new home in the UK.

Owen Maguire is regarded as the joint head of the Price-Maguire Organised Criminal Gang and which has been involved in a lethal gangland feud in Drogheda since 2018.

He is described in the CAB papers as “a major scale drug dealer” supplying drugs in much of the country’s north-east area who survived being shot six times in a murder bid at his home.

In one of the CAB affidavits to the High Court it is also stated that “Cornelius Price is an extremely close associate of Owen Maguire and they jointly head the Price-Maguire OCG.”

But that association is now over forever with the death of Price but Maguire still has close links to other close pals of the deceased crime lord.

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