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Forty people with links to Drogheda feud gang 'gone to ground'

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Keane Mulready-Woods

Keane Mulready-Woods

Keane Mulready-Woods

Up to 40 of the main protagonists in the deadly Drogheda feud, including women and children, have "gone to ground" in recent days fearing that they will be shot or arrested.

The development comes as it has emerged that a high-level meeting involving senior officers from many of the Garda's specialist units took place on Monday and a "strategy" for tackling the feuding gangs "head-on" was discussed.

Senior officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) and the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) were in attendance and a new major clampdown on the feuding gangs is imminent, according to sources.

"The full power of the State is coming down on these gangs very shortly," a senior source said last night.

While the vast majority of the feuding thugs in the Co Louth town are now on "self-imposed lockdown", the Irish Independent has learned that a 35-year-old Dublin criminal, who is suspected of playing a key role in the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods (17), has been spotted walking the streets of the town "every third day or so".

However, he is the exception.

"Virtually all of these criminals are now in hiding - they are terrified of being arrested and they are also very concerned that they will be shot.

"At times this week, some of the housing estates that they have terrorised for over two years now are like ghost towns.

"The atmosphere is very weird," the senior source added.

Gardaí also believe that feud gangster Cornelius Price, whose compound in Gormanston, Co Meath, was raided a number of times last week, is currently based with some of his relatives in the English town of Rochdale after he left Ireland at the weekend to "escape the heat on him".

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The CAB previously carried out a major operation against Owen Maguire's gang in April 2018, just three months before he was left paralysed after surviving a botched assassination attempt.

Searches took place in counties Dublin, Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan and cars, watches and cash were seized.

Sources say that the bureau will now actively target the anti-Maguire faction who are the mob behind the gruesome and shocking murder of Keane, whose torso has not yet been recovered.

A 24-year-old Drogheda criminal, who is also suspected of active involvement in Keane's murder, remains locked up in a prison isolation unit for his own safety after he was arrested for separate offences on Sunday night.

"Maybe jail is the best place for him - the majority of his associates are certainly not strutting around the town like they had been before now," a source said.

There have been no arrests yet in the murder case, being led by Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan.

On Tuesday, he said the force's elite Emergency Response Unit has never let him down and can be called in at a moment's notice to assist local gardaí.

He appealed for anyone with any information about Keane's last movements to come forward, saying those who don't carry a huge responsibility.


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