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Keane Mulready Woods murder two years on - where are the main players now?

Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the killing and dismemberment of Keane Mulready Woods. Crime Correspondent Ken Foy outlines the key figures linked to the teenager’s death.
Kean Mulready Woods

Kean Mulready Woods

Ken Foy

The murder of teenager Keane Mulready Woods (17) caused nationwide shock and led to international headlines such was the barbarity of the crime.

He was murdered and dismembered at a house in Drogheda as part of the feud involving two gangs in the Co Louth town, a dispute which has claimed four lives.

Partial remains, including his limbs, were found in a bag in Moatview Gardens, Coolock, on January 13, 2020.

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 waste ground at Rathmullen Park in Drogheda on March 11 last year.

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

Robbie Lawlor

Suspected gangland serial killer Robbie Lawlor was shot dead in Belfast in April 2020, less than three months after he was suspected of an active involvement in the teenager’s murder.

Lawlor, who was also the chief suspect for a spate of gang murders in Dublin, became heavily embroiled in the Drogheda feud and inflamed the dispute by issuing threats and receiving them after his release from jail less than a month before Keane was murdered.

Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

The PSNI have said that Lawlor’s murder was connected to a drugs feud between rival crime factions with connections to Drogheda, Dublin, Sligo and beyond Ireland with up to 21 suspects identified.

Two Northern Irish men remain in custody over their alleged involvement in the elaborate murder plot.

Gardaí believe that the Maguire gang faction, based in Drogheda, had a key role in ordering the fatal shooting of Lawlor.

Gardaí have raided properties linked to the gang and made additional arrests as part of an investigation into an intercepted €50,000 cash handover which was part of the bounty paid for the murder of the hitman.

Gerard McKenna

McKenna (52) of Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, is the only person so far to be convicted of involvement in the murder.

He is currently in jail after being charged in February 2020 with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of another person in relation to the murder.

Last November McKenna pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Court to cleaning up and removing evidence from the scene where Keane was murdered.

Gerard McKenna

Gerard McKenna

He pleaded guilty to cleaning up and removing evidence from the scene at or near Rathmullen Park, with intent to impede the apprehension or prosecution of a person or persons, knowing or believing that the said person or persons were guilty of the murder of Keane Mulready Woods, on a date unknown between January 12 and 14, 2020, both dates inclusive.

The offence is contrary to Section 7(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1997.

His case is next listed for mention at Dublin Circuit Court on February 28.

Paul Crosby

Convicted criminal Paul Crosby (26) became the second person to be charged with the murder of Keane Mulready Woods when he appeared before a court sitting last May.

At the time of the murder, Crosby was considered one of the main players in the so-called “Anti Maguire” faction in the deadly Drogheda feud and he survived an assassination attempt by rival gangsters just hours after Keane was murdered.

Paul Crosby

Paul Crosby

He has been in jail for almost two years now and during his time in Mountjoy Prison, he was far from a model inmate.

Last week it emerged that he had been transferred out of the Dublin prison following a night of unrest behind bars.

Crosby was one of several inmates allegedly involved in damaging prison cells on the C-landing of Mountjoy Prison in recent weeks. In October, the convicted arsonist received four extra months in jail after he was caught with illegal mobile phones on two separate occasions on January 4 and June 5 last year.

Crosby had 43 prior convictions, the last of which, for arson, was handed down at Drogheda Circuit Court last year, when he was given a four-and-a-half year sentence.

Gerard Cruise

Cruise (49) of Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, became the first person to be charged with the murder of the teenager when he appeared in court in December 2020.

He and his co-defendant Crosby are due to go on trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court in late April in a case that is expected to generate huge attention.

He was granted bail a number of weeks after being charged but no he no longer lives in Drogheda and instead has been based at an address in north inner city Dublin.

Cruise and some of his associates have been the subject of threats since he was charged with murder.

Cornelius Price

Price (40) was a mortal enemy of Robbie Lawlor and others who were allegedly involved in Keane’s murder.

The gang boss, who was a key player in the Maguire faction, remains gravely ill in a coma and on a ventilator in a Welsh hospital.

Cornelius Price

Cornelius Price

He was due to go on trial in London in December along with five alleged associates in relation to a blackmail kidnap plot but this trial was adjourned until next November because of his medical condition, which was described in court as limbic encephalitis.

He is charged with conspiring to falsely imprison and blackmail two men in July 2020 while his co-defendants face similar charges.

Price, who had been based in a compound in Gormanston in Co Meath, left Ireland for the UK just days after the murder of Keane but was arrested as part of a major police surveillance operation just six months later.

Gardaí believe that the gang who murdered Keane had planned to dump his torso at Price’s compound in a sick message of depravity but were unable to do that because of increased garda activity in Drogheda after the murder.

Other players

There are a number of other individuals, including women, who are suspected of being involved in the periphery of the murder who cannot be named here for legal reasons.

Two brothers, who are considered the leaders of the “Anti-Maguire” faction and close associates of Robbie Lawlor, fled Ireland in the aftermath of the murder.

They are currently believed to be based in Spain after spending time in Turkey and Mexico.

Meanwhile, a Co Meath-based criminal who is originally from north Dublin remains in Ireland. Gardaí believe Lawlor spent time at this person’s home both before and after the murder and they seized CCTV from his property.

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

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

Richie Carberry

Richie Carberry

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

The close associate of Carberry and the other arrested men were quizzed on suspicion of involvement in disposing of the body parts in Dublin.

A file on the four men, among other arrested people, has been sent to the DPP.

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