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Drogheda feud thug Paul Crosby caught on CCTV with Keane Mulready-Woods on day he disappeared

Crosby was initially charged with murder but yesterday pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of facilitating the gang involved in the crime.

Keane Mulready Woods (left) scene in Coolock (centre) Robbie Lawlor (top, right) and Paul Crosby (bottom, right)

Robin SchillerIndependent.ie

A Drogheda criminal and a Dublin hitman were spotted near the Keane Mulready-Woods murder scene with a sports bag after his killing.

Paul Crosby (27), who yesterday pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder, was also captured on CCTV with the 17-year-old victim in different parts of the Louth town on the day he went missing.

Crosby, of Rathmullen Park, was centrally involved in the Drogheda drug feud, and is aligned to key players in the dispute between two crime gangs, which has claimed four lives.

He was identified as a suspect within hours of the teenager’s dismembered body being found in a sports bag in Coolock, north Dublin, on January 13, 2020, and even survived an attempt on his life earlier that day.

A significant amount of CCTV footage was gathered as part of the investigation and the Sunday World has learned that Crosby was identified at key stages before and after the teen’s murder.

It included being sighted with Keane Mulready-Woods in the town on the day he went missing and at a Centra in Ballsgrove, near the murder site, later that day.

Detectives also gathered footage which showed Crosby and Robbie Lawlor – a chief suspect for the murder, who was shot dead months later in Belfast – leaving the area with a sports bag after the crime.

Crosby was initially charged with murder but yesterday pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of facilitating the gang involved in the crime.

He faces a maximum 15 years’ imprisonment when he is sentenced on January 23. His co-accused Gerard Cruise (48), with an address in Dublin 1, will also enter a plea next month.

Crosby was involved in the feud ever since he was acquitted of an attempted murder charge in February 2019.

His home was raided by gardaí investigating a gun attack on Brendan Maguire at the M1 retail park that month but gardaí are now satisfied he was not involved.

Weeks later, however, he made a mocking phone call to Maguire’s younger brother Owen, the alleged gang leader who was paralysed in a shooting carried out by Lawlor the previous July.

The call was video-recorded and Crosby is heard taunting Owen Maguire about being paralysed, asking him: “Do you want to go for a walk and sort this out?”

In July, Crosby was arrested after burning out a car which was watched by detectives carrying out a surveillance operation. He was charged and later bailed.

Tensions in Drogheda escalated with the murder that August of Keith Branagan (29), who was known to the anti-Maguire gang but was considered a soft target. In November, Richie Carberry, an associate of the anti-Maguire mob, was shot dead in Meath.

Following relative calm, the feud reached an appalling low in the new year when, on January 12, local teenager Keane Mulready-Woods was reported missing by his family with serious concerns for his welfare.

Paul Crosby was found guilty of facilitating the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods

He had become a target of the anti-Maguire faction and even took to wearing a bullet-proof vest for his own safety.

While searches for him were being carried out, an attempt was made on Crosby’s life on the afternoon of January 13.

He was sitting in a taxi in the town when a gunman fired several shots into the car. He escaped unharmed, but the innocent taxi driver was injured.

Later that evening a grim discovery was made in Coolock when human remains were found inside a sports bag.

As a result of intelligence received, gardaí immediately suspected the remains belonged to Mulready-Woods.

Further information pointed to the Rathmullen Park home of Gerard ‘Ged’ McKenna (53), an associate of the anti-Maguire gang.

When the house was searched, gardaí observed blood splatter across the house which had been covered in paint, while the youth’s blood was found on the ceiling, a TV unit, and on a couch that was moved from the sitting room to the back garden. Earlier this year, McKenna was jailed for four years for cleaning the crime scene.

Keane Mulready Woods

Within hours, gardaí also identified Crosby and Lawlor as suspects. Crosby was later returned to custody for breaching bail conditions 43 times, which were imposed following the arson incident. He was jailed for that incident for four-and-a-half years that April, later reduced to three years on appeal.

Lawlor was shot dead in Belfast that month in a murder linked to the feud.

While serving his sentence, Crosby was arrested over the Mulready-Woods killing and later charged with murder.

He was due to stand trial before the Special Criminal Court next month, but yesterday was arraigned on a new charge of facilitating the gang involved in the murder between January 11 and 13.

Crosby became the second person convicted in relation to the horrific crime when he responded “guilty” after the charge was read out to him.

While the feud is all but finished, gardaí are continuing to pursue those responsible for the bloodshed across Drogheda.


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