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On-the-run Drogheda feud brothers ‘key players in major drugs trafficking web’ say gardaí

Gardaí suspect the brothers are hiding out in Spain and Turkey
Murdered gang boss Robbie Lawlor

Murdered gang boss Robbie Lawlor

Ken Foy

GARDAÍ suspect that two on-the-run criminal brothers are still controlling a major drugs trafficking network despite spending their time between Spain and Turkey.

Detectives believe a significant drugs seizure in Co Louth earlier this month – which cannot be outlined here for legal reasons – is directly connected to the brothers who are considered major players in the Drogheda feud which has claimed four lives.

“They need money to maintain their lives abroad and drugs trafficking is how these individuals make their money,” a senior source said.

“They might have been out of the country for nearly two years at this stage but they are still very significant players in organised crime in Co Louth,” the source added.

It is understood the brothers have been “keeping a very close eye” on developments in Ireland and are aware that their rival Cornelius Price is currently seriously ill in a Welsh hospital.

The brothers got involved in a bitter dispute with Price’s close associate Owen Maguire who was maimed in a gun attack suspected of being carried out by slain gangland serial killer Robbie Lawlor in July, 2008.

The feud made international headlines with the savage murder of 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods in January last year for which Robbie Lawlor was also a chief suspect.

Keane Mulready-Woods

Keane Mulready-Woods

The brothers who are classified as leaders of the anti-Maguire faction in the Louth feud fled to Mexico last year and were later joined by their girlfriends in the country which has no extradition treaty with Ireland.

They cannot be named for legal reasons as they are currently facing serious charges before the courts.

The duo, aged 26 and 23, left Ireland in the chaotic aftermath of Mulready-Woods’s murder and travelled to Spain where they were based for months.

They later left when EU warrants were issued for their arrests relating to an horrific 2018 incident.

However, a number of months ago, they returned to Spain and sources say they have also spent some time in Turkey.

There have been no notable incidents in the Drogheda feud for a number of months, with many of the main protagonists either locked up or forced to live abroad.

However, gardaí say that the violent dispute is “far from over”.

The older sibling survived two gun attacks as part of the feud including in June, 2019.

He was shot in the chin in the Elmwood Close estate in Drogheda, leading to a number of revenge petrol bomb incidents.

He had been targeted just weeks earlier by a gunman in the Donaghmede area on the capital’s northside.

The brothers are closely linked to the suspected killers of Mulready-Woods but the siblings are not suspects in that murder.

They are close associates of Paul Crosby (25) who has been charged with Mulready-Woods’s murder and who was jailed for four and a half years in April last year for the arson of a stolen car which happened while he was under Garda surveillance due to his role in the bitter dispute.

In May, the Court of Appeal reduced the sentence to three years and six months with the final six months suspended.

Crosby was given four months additional jail time earlier this month after he admitted unlawful possession of mobile phones in Mountjoy Prison on January 4 and June 5 this year.

The siblings are also closely connected to a number of major players in the north Dublin gangland scene.

"These are very violent individuals who once worked for Owen Maguire but they turned against him and this is what led the Drogheda feud to kick-off,” a source added.

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