Garda bosses have described the murder and dismemberment of a 17-year-old boy as “savage”, “shocking” and “unacceptable”.
DNA tests confirmed that remains, believed to be limbs, found on the streets of a north Dublin suburb on Monday night, as are those of Keane Mulready-Woods, from Drogheda, Co Louth.
They suspect that remains, thought to be a head, found in a burning car in Dublin’s north inner city early on Wednesday belong to the deceased, but are awaiting DNA results.
Gardaí are investigating links with the vicious Drogheda feud, which has now claimed three lives since last August, with the murder of a child marking an “escalation” in violence.
A search is continuing at a house in Rathmullen Park in the town amid signs of blood and efforts at a clean-up.
Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan, divisional officer in Louth, said the “warring factions” in Drogheda were “intent on inflicting maximum damage on each other”.
He said these groups were interested in “controlling certain parts of society through cocaine. They want to enhance their own lifestyle through drugs and intimidation”. However, he added: “We are not going to allow that to happen”.
Deputy 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.”
Speaking before the identity was confirmed, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “It’s something that’s really shocking. It’s grotesque. It’s gruesome, it’s macabre.”
At last night’s press conference, Chief Supt Mangan said: “This is a brutal and savage attack on a child and is completely unacceptable in any normal democratic society.
“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.”
Gardaí had earlier informed the boy’s family in Drogheda about the devastating news.
The boy’s sister had made an appeal on social media on Monday for information about her brother, last seen around 6pm on Sunday.
A threat had been made to abduct, kill, and dismember him in the week before then.
Chief Supt Mangan said that a “very extensive investigation” was being conducted, that into the murder.He said
tests were continuing on the house in Rathmullen but they could not say if that was where the juvenile was murdered.
He said there had already been an “unacceptable” level of violence in Drogheda and that this act was “certainly an escalation of violence”.
Asked why someone would inflict such extreme violence on a child,
He said there were a number of lines of inquiry they were investigating, but had not yet come down on one definite line.
“It’s an absolutely horrific murder of a child,” he said.
The deceased had been recently convicted of intimidating a mother of a teenager who owed a drug debt to one of the feuding gangs. He had smashed windows in the house, before throwing a petrol bomb into it.
Garda sources said there were suspicions he may have been “running” with both of the feuding gangs and that one of them acted for this reason.
He may also have been targeted because he was linked, or related to, one of the gangs and was seen as an “easy target” by the other.
Detectives are also investigating if he was murdered in revenge for the shooting dead of gang figure, Richie Carberry, originally from Coolock, last November.