The ‘disappearance’ of the two men – who are related to one another – is directly linked to ‘pressure’ from investigating gardai over the barbaric murder of the 17-year-old boy, senior sources say.
It can also be revealed that gardai have launched a ‘significant offensive’ against the criminal gang behind the dismemberment and murder of the teen, abducted in Drogheda on January 12.
The boy was subsequently beheaded and his partial remains were recovered at two separate locations in north Dublin. His torso remains undiscovered.
The two gang leaders ‘intrinsically linked’ to the murder of the 17-year-old were due in court this week in connection with another serious crime linked to the ongoing Drogheda feud.
However, the duo failed to appear in court.
Senior sources told Extra.ie there is ‘credible intelligence’ that the pair are currently in Spain.
In a separate incident on Friday morning, a ‘henchman’ for the same two men behind the killing of young Keane Mulready-Woods was arrested in Drogheda.
The suspect was caught with a loaded handgun, as well as a crossbow and drugs, in the raid of his home.
The man in custody, in his mid-30s, is well-known to gardai and was ‘poised’ to carry out an attack on the rival faction of the so-called Drogheda feud.
Gardai announced yesterday that an ‘intelligence-led operation against serious criminal activity in Drogheda’ culminated in a house raid and the arrest of a suspect in the Highlands area of the crime-ridden town.
During the course of yesterday morning’s search, a loaded handgun, ammunition, and an assortment of offensive weapons including a crossbow, pepper spray, €4,000 in cash/cheques and a small number of controlled substances were seized, according to gardai.
Last night, the suspect remained detained at Drogheda Garda Station under Section 30 Offences against the State Act 1939.
A Garda spokesman has said that ‘investigations are ongoing’.
Sources revealed that the suspect is a ‘close associate’ of the two relatives now ‘on the run’.
In yet another offensive by investigating detectives, the Dublin home of another high-level suspect – who facilitated the criminal who physically carried out the brutal murder of Keane Mulready-Woods before and after the killing – was raided by gardai last Sunday.
This Donaghmede criminal’s home was raided and CCTV was seized by detectives last Sunday morning.
Investigators believe there is video footage of a north Dublin ‘psychopath’ visiting the home of his accomplice in Donaghmede before and after they committed the murder.
A senior source said the ‘net was tightening’ around the two men and said they were on the run ‘because the pressure is on’.
Gardai detected one of their low-level henchmen with a loaded gun and it’s believed this man was poised to commit a hit.
Also, gardai are satisfied that they have relevant CCTV linking a major player in this case facilitating the criminal who committed the barbaric crime.’
The teen was abducted in his native Drogheda on January 12. He was murdered and dismembered in the Co. Louth town the same night.
His limbs were dumped in a sports bag in the Moatview housing estate in Coolock the following evening. The bag was discovered by children.
The teenager’s severed head was later recovered in a burning car in Ballybough, Dublin.
A house in Drogheda was searched, where knives and machetes believed to have been used in the brutal murder were recovered in a shed out the back garden days after the killing.
Gardai have also detected blood ‘soaked into the floorboards’ of this house.
DNA testing ‘has linked’ the murdered teen to this house, though gardai are awaiting further forensic results.
The so-called Drogheda feud kicked off in July 2018, when Traveller crime boss Owen Maguire was shot at his home in the town.
Young Keane Mulready-Woods was closely linked to associates of Owen Maguire, and the gang has been left ‘shocked and reeling’ by his brutal killing.
Maguire was shot in the stomach and shoulder in the botched hit in 2018, which left a bullet lodged in his spine. He was left paralysed from the waist down.
Since the shooting of Owen Maguire, there have been numerous attacks on both sides of the feud, including the shooting of Maguire’s older brother, Brendan. The second man killed in the feud was Richard Carberry, a married father-of-two, in November.
One main line of enquiry is that the teen was dismembered and killed because his associates were behind the murder of Carberry.