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Grim discovery Skeletal remains found in search for torso of murdered teen in Drogheda

The remains were discovered hidden in overgrown bushes in a ravine at around 4pm and senior sources said that the bones have been sent away for DNA testing.

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An earthmover moves in to the site next to Rathmullen park in Drogheda where skeletal remains were discovered.  Picture: David Conachy

An earthmover moves in to the site next to Rathmullen park in Drogheda where skeletal remains were discovered. Picture: David Conachy

An earthmover moves in to the site next to Rathmullen park in Drogheda where skeletal remains were discovered. Picture: David Conachy

Gardai have discovered skeletal remains in their search for the torso of a 17-year-old boy who was brutally murdered and dismembered in January of last year.

The discovery was made on the second day of a detailed search of waste ground at the rear of Rathmullen Park in Drogheda just yards from the house where the boy was murdered.

The remains were discovered hidden in overgrown bushes in a ravine at around 4pm and senior sources said that the bones have been sent away for DNA testing.

After making the discovery this afternoon, officers visited the home of the boy’s heartbroken family to “inform them of the possibility” that the remains were that of the tragic murdered teenager.

Gardai do not know when the remains were dumped in the waste ground and have not ruled out the possibility that they have been there ever since the night he was murdered on January 12, 2020.

It is suspected that he was lured to a house in nearby Rathmullen Park – about 500 metres from where the remains were found today – where he was stabbed to death and then his body dismembered by gangland serial killer Robbie Lawlor.

“The original intention may have been only to give the boy a hiding but Lawlor took matters into his own hands and brutalised the victim,” a senior source said today.

Garda intelligence had indicated that the boy’s torso was to “be delivered” to the compound of opposing gang boss Cornelius Price in Gormanston, Co Meath, after the child was dismembered as a grim warning to the now jailed gangster who was friendly with the 17-year-old murder victim.

However did this did not happen after gardai became aware that the limbs of the murdered teen had been dumped in a sports bag in Darndale, north Dublin, close to the home of another bitter mob rival of Lawlor.

This led to a massive garda investigation which spooked the criminals and may have meant the torso was never moved after being dumped in the waste ground on the night of the murder.

In the past year, gardai investigated reports that a number of gangsters involved in the deadly Drogheda feud knew where the victim’s torso was located but there was no breakthrough until this week.

However a breakthrough in the case did not happen until last month when officers received “key intelligence” about a “probable location” of the body parts which led to this week’s searches.

The scene remains sealed off tonight and specialist officers will continue to search the waste ground for at least another day.

“Gardaí in Drogheda investigating the murder of a male juvenile in January 2020 commenced searches in an outdoor area close to Rathmullen Park, Drogheda yesterday morning, Wednesday 10th March, 2021,” a garda spokeswoman said.

“This afternoon, Thursday 11th March 2021, Gardaí have discovered partial skeletal remains.

“The Garda Technical Bureau, are at the scene as part of the ongoing operation.

“The search area remains sealed off and the searches are ongoing,” she added.

Partial remains, including the boy's 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.

Eight people have already been arrested in the massive murder investigation with two men already before the courts in relation to it.

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Gardaí near the Rathmullen estate in Drogheda (Picture: Gerry Mooney)

Gardaí near the Rathmullen estate in Drogheda (Picture: Gerry Mooney)

Gardaí near the Rathmullen estate in Drogheda (Picture: Gerry Mooney)

Senior sources say that a number of other people are expected to be arrested in the coming weeks.

Last month notorious Drogheda feud gangster Paul Crosby was released without charge after being arrested in Mountjoy Prison and questioned about the gruesome murder.

Since last January’s murder gardai have continued with a major clampdown on the feuding gangs with €1.2 million worth of drugs and €1.5 million in cash seized in Co Louth in the past year with 200 people being arrested for drug dealing.

In Drogheda alone, 95 drug dealing suspects were arrested and over €500,000 worth of drugs were seized in the Co Louth town under Operation Stratus.

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