'BRUTAL' | 

Keane Mulready-Woods’ mum says ‘I relive his murder every day’ ahead of sentencing

Ms Woods said they lost a son, brother, grandchild and friend to one of the "most brutal, tragic and horrifying murders in the history of Ireland".

Keane Mulready-Woods© PA

Robin SchillerIndependent.ie

The mother of a teenager who was murdered and dismembered by a notorious criminal has said she relives his “horrifying and brutal” death everyday.

Keane Mulready-Woods was aged 17 when he was reported missing in January 2020 and his remains were discovered in different parts of Dublin and Drogheda over the following year.

Two Drogheda men, Paul Crosby (27) and Gerard Cruise (49) from Rathmullan Park, will be sentenced next month for their role in facilitating the murder which the Special Criminal Court heard is suspected to have been carried out by Robbie Lawlor.

Details of their involvement were outlined today while the victim's mother Elizabeth Woods said in her victim impact statement that her family have been left serving their own life sentence.

In her victim impact statement, read out by Det Insp Aidan McCabe, Keane's mother said that to lose her child in such an inhumane and barbaric way is shocking and that words can't describe how they are feeling.

Ms Woods said they lost a son, brother, grandchild and friend to one of the "most brutal, tragic and horrifying murders in the history of Ireland".

Never in her wildest dreams, she said, did she believe when Keane went missing that they would have to have two burials for him because his body parts were found around the country.

"When Keane died, part of me died. Keane's life was taken at the age of 17, he was my baby and didn't get a change to live life. He was only finding his way to becoming an adult,” she said.

She said there are many unanswered questions, including when did Keane realise the intention to kill him, did he suffer, did he try to run away or just call out for her.

"I just hope this evil doesn't happen to another person,” his mother said.

Ms Woods said the family are now serving a life sentence, adding that she is most vulnerable at home and has to walk by the place of her son’s place of death.

"I've to live here and relive Keane's death on a daily basis," she said.

Prosecuting counsel John Byrne SC took Det Insp McCabe through the evidence.

The court heard that Keane Mulready-Woods was reported missing by his mother at 4pm on January 13, 2020, and a short time later gardaí received confidential information that he had been murdered.

At 10pm a Puma sports bag was thrown from a Volvo car at Moatview Drive in Priorswood which contained the dismembered arms and legs of the teenager. False number plates for the car had been purchased earlier that day by Gerard Cruise.

The victim's head and feet were recovered from the Volvo which had been burnt out on Trinity Terrace in Drumcondra in the early hours of January 15, while his torso was discovered in a sports bag on waste grounds in Drogheda over a year later.

Mr Byrne said that the chief suspect for the murder was Robbie Lawlor, a criminal of "very significant notoriety linked to several murders", who was shot dead in Belfast in April 2020.

He added that at the time of the teenager's murder Lawlor was heavily involved in a feud between rival criminal gangs in the Drogheda area.

CCTV evidence showed Keane Mulready-Woods getting a taxi to the Ballsgrove estate at 6pm on January 12 which was paid for by Paul Crosby.

A short time later, Cruise collected the two in his Volkswagen Jetta and brought them to a rear laneway leading to 31 Rathmullen Park, where the murder was carried out.

At 6.25pm, Cruise and Crosby were seen on on CCTV walking to their homes nearby and leaving a short time later.

Det Insp McCabe said the last sighting of Keane Mulready-Woods alive was at 6.48pm at the rear of 31 Rathmullen Park in the company of three others.

One of these was Lawlor, and the teenager is believed to have been murdered shortly after this sighting.

There was no evidence to suggest the two accused were present at the time of the murder, while the garda investigation could not establish if they were present in the aftermath.

There was mobile phone contact between Crosby and Lawlor at 6.43pm and 7.05pm, and Lawlor travelled to Dublin in the immediate aftermath of the murder.

At 8.30pm the Volvo car is seen entering a car park at the rear of the murder scene before a male exits it and walks toward the house. He returns 20 minutes later with two large bags and drives southbound towards Dublin.

The court heard Crosby and Cruise were observed on CCTV in the Rathmullen Park area at this time, and in particular in the company of Gerard 'Ged' McKenna.

He lived at the house where the murder occurred and is serving a four-year sentence for assisting the offenders involved by cleaning up the crime scene.

A red Toyota Corolla van was also located nearby in which bone fragments belonging to Keane Mulready-Woods were found.

It was discovered that Cruise and two others purchased the car in Westmeath the day before the murder.

The court heard that when arrested Cruise was cooperative, saying the mood in the car with Crosby and Mulready-Woods was "okay" and that there was "no animosity" between them.

The court was told that nothing of evidential value was gathered from garda interviews from Paul Crosby.

Det Insp McCabe said he had over 40 previous convictions including for criminal damage by arson, possession of drugs, dangerous driving and using a mobile phone in prison.

His barrister Michael Bowman SC said his client has undergone a number of courses while in custody including alternative to violence, cardiac care, and a Gaisce Award for engagement in employment skills and manual handling.

The court heard that Crosby also offered a plea of guilty to facilitating the crime a week after being charged with murder.

Gerard Cruise has a number of previous convictions dating back to 1990 including for public order and burglary. His barrister Bernard Condon SC said his client expressed his sincere apology for his involvement.

Both men will be sentenced on February 13 and face a maximum sentence of 15 years.


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