Criminal linked to gang feud walks free from court
A 23-year-old criminal who is considered one of the main protagonists in the Drogheda feud walked free from court after being cleared of two armed robbery charges.
The suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared by a jury at around lunchtime yesterday after a short trial.
"This is a not a great result for gardaí - if this individual had been convicted and given a significant jail sentence, it would have made it easier to police the Drogheda feud," a senior source said.
"But that is not the case unfortunately, which means that he will continue to be regularly monitored by armed gardaí," the source added.
The gangster was only released from jail in February when he was also cleared of serious charges by a jury in Dublin's Central Criminal Court.
Gardaí suspect he has carried out a number of petrol bomb attacks and he has been arrested by gardaí investigating the shooting of Brendan Maguire, the older brother of gang boss Owen, in February just days after the 23-year-old was released from jail.
Brendan Maguire (40) spent a number of weeks being treated in hospital for the injuries he suffered in the attack at the M1 Retail Park in Drogheda.
The cleared criminal is considered the "right-hand man" of the gang boss who is the leader of the anti-Maguire faction in the Drogheda feud.
His 24-year-old close friend survived a botched assassination last month in the Elmwood Close estate in Drogheda, in which he suffered superficial wounds to his chin and shoulder.
This happened less than a month after he was the target of a shooting in Donaghmede, north Dublin.
While the criminal who walked free yesterday is on bail for separate charges and currently living in Drogheda, his older friend has been based in Dublin in recent times because of the threat to his life.
Sources say the 23-year-old criminal has been "driving a lot of the hatred" in the feud.