Gardaí monitoring the bitter Drogheda feud have arrested a teenage girl who was caught with a petrol bomb in the troubled Moneymore estate in the early hours of yesterday.
Detectives are investigating if the 17-year-old was on her way to attack property on behalf of the notorious anti-Maguire faction who were closely linked to slain hitman Robbie Lawlor (36), shot dead in Belfast on April 4.
She was walking in the estate at 2am when gardaí became suspicious, searched her and discovered the suspected bomb,
The suspect was brought to Drogheda garda station but was released without charge and is expected to be dealt with under the juvenile liaison programme.
"This is another case of gardaí arresting what can be described as a vulnerable person, who acts as a runner for these feuding gangs," a source said.
The petrol bomb seizure happened after a busy bank holiday weekend for gardaí in Drogheda, carrying out a number of searches in the town against members of the anti-Maguire faction.
In one incident, the boyfriend of a sister of one of the on-the-run gang leaders was arrested after gardaí recovered cannabis worth €3,000 and €1,000 in cash in a car.
A man in his late 20s and another in his early 30s were detained. The drugs and cash were found when a car was stopped and searched on the Ballymakenny Road around 3.45pm on Monday by members of the divisional drugs unit attached to Drogheda garda station.
A number of follow-up searches were carried out and the third suspect - a man in his mid-30s - was arrested.
"The drug seizure is part of the gardaí's strategy to keep hitting these feuding gangs where it hurts.
"These are not huge seizures but they do help keep the pressure on these thugs," a source said.
The development comes as gardaí are preparing for the imminent return of gang boss Cornelius Price, due to return from Rochdale in the UK to his compound in Gormanston, Co Meath. Price is a close associate of paralysed Drogheda criminal Owen Maguire and a bitter rival of the other faction in the feud which has now claimed four lives.
"Cornelius Price and his close associates in the Maguire faction in the Drogheda feud firmly believe that they have the upper hand now in that dispute now that Lawlor is dead," a source revealed.
Despite being a bitter enemy of Lawlor's, Cornelius Price and his crew are not direct suspects in the murder which happened in the front garden of a house in the Ardoyne area of Belfast.
However, associates in the Maguire faction are being investigated for ordering it.