A video has emerged purporting to show the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods, 17, who is thought to have been the victim of a gangland drugs war.
Police believe he was taken to a house in Drogheda, Co. Louth, on Sunday before his body parts were found dumped at two sites in Dublin.
It is thought the head was going to be delivered to a gang boss as a warning, but was left in the boot of a burning car instead.
Police said the images being shared online were unverified, but were distressing to Keane’s family.
They told the BBC, if verified, they ‘are disrespectful images of the deceased and provide false support to the perpetrators of this brutal crime’.
Officers are said to be working on the theory that Keane was killed in revenge for the murder of Richie Carberry, 39. The gangster was shot dead by members of a rival mob outside his home in Bettystown, Co. Meath, in November.
The main suspect in Keane’s killing is reported to be a notorious north Dublin hitman, considered by officers to be a ‘psychopath’ and a ‘serial killer’.
It is thought the gang that murdered Carberry had made threats against youngsters, prompting the hitman to target a teenager in return. Violence between the two drugs gangs — both based in Drogheda — has escalated steadily since July 2018, when a suspected dealer was shot and paralysed.
That has been followed by a series of shootings, petrol bombings and beatings across Meath and Louth counties.