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Gruesome Keane Mulready Woods murder was planned, senior sources reveal

The development comes after the latest suspect arrested in the case was questioned about providing at least two phones to criminals that gardai believe were directly involved in the murder

Keane Mulready Woods

Ken Foy

The gruesome murder of Drogheda teenager Keane Mulready Woods was planned and was not “a spur of the moment” incident, senior sources have revealed.

The development comes after the latest suspect arrested in the case was questioned about providing at least two phones to criminals that gardai believe were directly involved in the murder.

He is a homeless man aged in his 20’s who was released without charge after being arrested earlier this month in relation to the murder case but was later charged with firearms offences linked to Drogheda’s deadly feud which has claimed four lives.

Sources say that gardai are hopeful of being able to later charge the suspect with offences linked to the murder of the 17-year-old which may include impeding the apprehension or prosecution of an offender along with other offences.

Keane Mulready Woods's body was dismembered

“The fact that mobile phones were specifically provided in relation to this murder shows it was planned and premeditated,” a senior source said.

“There may have been some belief that this was an orgy of violence that just went out of control but that is not necessarily the case,” the source added.

In total 13 people have now been arrested as part of the murder inquiry with three men charged before the courts.

Keane Mulready Woods was murdered and dismembered at a house in Drogheda as part of the feud involving two gangs in the Co Louth town.

Partial remains, including his limbs, were found in a bag in Moatview Gardens, Coolock, on January 13 last year.

Two days later his head and hands were found in the boot of a burnt-out car at Trinity Terrace near Ballybough in Dublin.

Keane’s torso was discovered during a search of wasteground at Rathmullen Park in Drogheda on March 11 last.

Officers were acting on “key intelligence” for the search operation. His family later buried the torso with the rest of Keane’s remains.

The remains were discovered hidden in overgrown bushes in a ravine and also under soil at the site.

Last month two men were sent for trial to the non-jury Special Criminal Court in relation to the murder.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt made the formal orders after the accused, Paul Crosby (25) and Gerard Cruise (47), were sent forward from the district court two weeks ago.

The cases against Mr Crosby, of Rathmullan Park, Drogheda, Co Louth, and Mr Cruise, with an address at Rathmullan Park and another in Dublin 1, were adjourned.

They are both charged with the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods at a house in Rathmullan Park, Drogheda, on a date unknown between January 12 and 13, 2020.

State solicitor Michael O'Donovan made an ex parte application saying the accused were sent forward from Drogheda District Court on the single charge in the book of evidence.

He said he had a copy of a certificate from the DPP and applied for an order that the accused were to be tried by the Special Criminal Court.

The court was told Mr Cruise was on bail while Mr Crosby remained in custody.

In May, four Dublin criminals were arrested and questioned about disposing of Keane’s remains before being released without charge.

All had links to slain hitman Robbie Lawlor who was a suspect in the teenager’s murder but was shot dead in Belfast in April of last year.

This included a father-and-son from Kilbarrack in north Dublin who were close pals of slain gangland serial killer Robbie Lawlor as well a close associate of Lawlor’s brother-in-law feud murder victim Richie Carberry (39).

He was shot dead in November 2019 outside his Co Meath home in a murder that was directly linked to the Drogheda dispute.

Originally from Coolock, he was seen as the Dublin link to the anti-Maguire faction directing the younger criminals.

Gardaí believed he was the ‘number 2’ acting with another Dublin criminal financing the crime gang.

The close associate of Carberry was quizzed on suspicion of involvement in disposing the body parts.

A file on the four men will now be prepared for the DPP.

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