Gardai have confirmed that human remains discovered in Dublin earlier this week are those of missing Louth teenager Keane Mulready-Woods (17).
Partial remains were discovered by gardai at Moateview Drive, Priorswood, Coolock on Monday night.
"Keane is a 17-year-old juvenile, he disappeared on Sunday 12th January and parts of his remains have now been discovered. This is a brutal and savage attack on a child and is completely unacceptable in any normal democratic society," a garda spokeswoman said.
"The level of violence is shocking and the investigation into the murder of Keane is being co-ordinated from Drogheda Garda Station. It is important to remember that Keane was a child, a young boy, trying to find his way in life, he has now lost his life and his family have lost their loved son and brother."
This morning further human remains were recovered in a burnt out car in Dublin.
"At approximately 9.55pm Monday 13th January 2020 gardaí responded to a 999 call that a bag containing human remains had been found at Moatview Drive, Priorswood, Dublin 17. A black "Puma” sports bag was recovered which contained partial human remains," the spokeswoman said.
"At approximately 1.30am Wednesday 15th January 2020 gardaí responded to a call from Dublin Fire Brigade stating that there was a vehicle on fire at Trinity Terrace, Dublin 3. Further partial human remains were recovered from this vehicle.
"Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has visited Drogheda and Coolock garda station and assured the investigation teams of the full support of the Garda Organisation in this investigation. A family liaison officer remains in close contact with Keane's family."
Deputy garda commissioner John Twomey said:
"An Garda Síochána is determined to bring those behind this shocking crime to justice. In recent years An Garda Síochána has made significant progress in tackling organised crime through arrests leading to convictions and major seizures of guns, drugs and cash. This focus will continue. As always, the help and support of communities is vital to this."
Drogheda chief superintendent Christy Mangan described it as a "brutal and savage attack of a child - unacceptable in any normal democratic society".
"The level of violence is shocking and the investigation into the murder of Keane is being coordinated from Drogheda Garda Station.
It is important to remember that Keane was a child, a young boy trying to find his way of life. He has now lost his life and his family have lost their loving son .
"We’re there to protect and serve the public, but there are a number of groups who are interested in controlling certain parts of society and their own lifestyles through drugs and intimidation.
"We’re not going to allow that to happen. We’re there to protect the people of Drogheda and will certainly do that in a very robust fashion," he added.
Photographs of the clothes Keane was wearing have also been provided by gardai.
Local residents whose house back onto the lane-way where further remains were found this morning, alerted the emergency services when they saw the flames and smoke in the lane.
Today, they reacted with shock that some human remains had been found in the car.
"We had seen the orange glow and rang the fire brigade, but then when I saw the Gardai had the lane closed off this morning I thought it must be something more than joyriders," said one Clonliffe Road resident.
"Now that I hear what has been found it is shocking, absolutely shocking," he added.
Members of the garda technical bureau worked at the scene gathering forensic evidence, and the burnt out shell of the car was covered in a blue forensic tent to protect any evidence within it.
Gardai also prepared to carry out house to house enquiries, and CCTV footage in the vicinity will also be examined as part of the investigation.
Just before 11am, an ambulance from the city morgue arrived at the scene and the human remains, which had been placed in protective covers, were transferred into it and taken away for examination.
A tow truck arrived moments later and the car was removed from the laneway for a technical examination.
The teenager was abducted, murdered and his body dismembered by one of the country’s most notorious criminal gangs had been formally warned by gardaí that his life was in danger days before he went missing.
The chief suspect in the case is a notorious Dublin criminal involved in multiple feuds, including in Drogheda and Dublin.
He has been forced out of his Coolock base because of threats from rival local gangsters.
But in one of the sickest developments in Irish gangland history, the thug is suspected of organising the dumping of the teen’s mutilated body parts in Moatview as a grim warning to his rivals in the capital.
One of the locations searched in the garda investigation was the compound of notorious gang boss Cornelius Price, who has close links to older associates of the murdered teenager.
“The information was that the head was to be given to Price as a warning not to mess with his rival or his gang," a senior source said last night.
A number of other searches were carried out yesterday by gardaí investigating the murder of the teenager, including at the home of a major Drogheda feud criminal.
The 24-year-old survived an attempt on his life when an innocent taxi driver was injured in a shooting on Monday evening.
Yesterday, the family of the murder victim were being comforted by friends at their home on the outskirts of the town as they waited for news.
He was given a suspended four-month jail sentence last year for a terrifying campaign of intimidation and harassment against a local family and is also known to gardaí for minor drugs and road traffic offences.
"Whatever he did, he did not deserve a fate like what has happened to him - he is only a child after all, but some of these players involved in the feuding in Drogheda and Coolock are the most violent and brutal that this country has ever seen," a senior source told the Irish Independent last night.
The gruesome find at the junction of Moatview Gardens and Drive was made by a 16-year-old local boy shortly before 10pm on Monday.
Sources say he and his friend were lighting a fire on the green when he came across a large sports bag that had been dumped there.
According to a local source, he picked up the bag with the intention of throwing it in the bonfire when a limb fell out of it.
Gardaí were then alerted by a 999 call but they were initially sceptical about the call because they believed it was an attempt to "divert" them from a robbery chase that was happening in the area.
"This is a common tactic by criminals - to call in one fake incident while a separate real live situation is ongoing, to divert Garda resources," a senior source said.
But after a Garda car was dispatched to Moatview Gardens the seriousness of the situation emerged and the area was quickly sealed off.
Locals said the bag had apparently been thrown out of a car, which then sped away from the scene.
A preliminary post-mortem was carried out yesterday but no cause of death has been established.
Senior sources said that "significant damage" was observed on the victim's hands which may have been carried out to distort fingerprint identification.
Detectives are investigating the role of a notorious 35-year-old Dublin criminal in the gruesome murder.
"He is the chief suspect for the attempted gun murder of Owen Maguire in July, 2018 which kicked off this feud and is very much aligned to the gang who are fighting with Maguire," said a source.
One theory in the investigation is that the teenager who was abducted and murdered was targeted because one of his associates was blamed for the murder of Richie Carberry who was shot dead in Bettystown, Co Meath last November.
On Wednesday evening, Leo Varadkar condemned the discovery of human remains saying it is “something that’s really shocking, grotesque, gruesome, [and] macabre".
He said he had spoken to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan about the matter earlier on Wednesday and said gardaí in Drogheda, where the crime is linked to, would get “every support they need” to bring the culprits to justice.
“I want to assure them that they will have the gardaí, the Government behind them and bringing whoever did this to justice,” he said.
Mr Varadkar defended the Government's record on crime and said the number of murders in Ireland is down by about 40pc. "That doesn't take away in any way from the seriousness of this crime, but it does demonstrate that the extra resources that have gone into the gardaí in recent years have made a difference.”
He said the Government also needed to be tough on the causes of crime which he identified as “poverty and disadvantage”.