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Surprise find Gardai believe 'bomb factory' discovered in Drogheda is linked to anti-Maguire feud faction

It is suspected that they were making bombs on behalf of the anti-Maguire faction who have been “on the back foot” in recent months in a bitter feud that has claimed four murders and numerous bomb attacks.

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Drogheda Garda Station

Drogheda Garda Station

Drogheda Garda Station

Gardai believe they have uncovered a bomb factory after a late night drugs raid on a property in Drogheda led to the discovery of two pipe bombs, gun powder and a large amount of bullets.

The belief is that pipe bombs were being made at this property for the so-called anti-Maguire faction,” a senior source said.

It was an unexpected development for officers who had expected to find drugs at the property but not the bombs and bomb making paraphernalia.

“This is a very significant result – there has been two arrests but these are individuals who would be at the very bottom of the food chain when it comes to the feuding gangs in Drogheda,” the source added.

Gardai did also recover drugs at the property - €1,100 worth of suspected cocaine along with €500 worth of suspected Alprazolam tablets during the search which happened at 11pm.

The two men arrested at the scene are aged in their early 40’s and mid 50’s and neither have any serious previous criminal connections.

It is suspected that they were making bombs on behalf of the anti-Maguire faction who have been “on the back foot” in recent months in a bitter feud that has claimed four murders and numerous bomb attacks.

“This shows that this faction has not gone away but many of its main protagonists are either in jail or in exile abroad,” a senior source said.

“This gang may have used these individuals because they were not previously well known to gardai in terms of organised crime,” the source added.

Gardai announced details of the search operation today and outlined that the defence forces had to be called to the scene after the discovery of the viable bombs.

“The scene was cordoned off and a number of houses in the area were evacuated as part of the operation,” a garda spokesman said.

“The army EOD team was requested to attend and they safely removed two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other material believed to be used in the manufacture of explosives for further detailed examination.

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“The scene was made safe at 5am but remains preserved this morning for a full forensic examination,” he added.

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The feud which has claimed four lives kicked off when gang boss Owen Maguire was maimed in a gun attack

The feud which has claimed four lives kicked off when gang boss Owen Maguire was maimed in a gun attack

The feud which has claimed four lives kicked off when gang boss Owen Maguire was maimed in a gun attack

The feud which has claimed four lives kicked off when gang boss Owen Maguire was maimed in a gun attack which was suspected of being carried out by slain gangland serial killer Robbie Lawlor in July, 2008.

It gained international headlines with the gruesome murder of a-17-year-old boy in January of last year for which Robbie Lawlor was also a chief suspect.

Two criminal brothers who are classified as leaders of the anti-Maguire faction had fled to Mexico and they have since been joined by their girlfriends in the central American country that Ireland has no extradition treaty with.

The duo left Ireland in the chaotic aftermath of the murder of the boy’s murder and travelled to Spain where they were based for months but they then left the EU after warrants were issued for their arrests relating to a horrific 2018 incident.

The faction led by Owen Maguire has had the upper-hand in recent months and today senior sources said that gardai in the troubled town are “very relieved” that Maguire’s close ally Cornelius Price cannot return to Ireland because of bail conditions imposed on him in the UK.

“Feud wise it has generally been quiet in recent weeks if Price was around there would be chaos,” the source pointed out.

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