Drogheda violence part of worsening feud between rival drugs gangs

Pipe bomb and arson attacks, an abduction and a stabbing follow earlier shooting

  Gardaí had burst into a house on the Moneymore estate and found a young man stripped, beaten and stabbed in a bathroom. He had been abducted a short time earlier by members of the rival gang

Gardaí had burst into a house on the Moneymore estate and found a young man stripped, beaten and stabbed in a bathroom. He had been abducted a short time earlier by members of the rival gang

 

A Co Louth feud, which saw one man beaten and stabbed in a bath last weekend, involves two organised crime gangs, and has led to a sharp increase in violence in Drogheda and in jails in recent months.

One of the gangs involved is linked to three murders. It has also been the target of a major inquiry by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Violence between the gangs flared seriously over the past week, with arson attacks, a pipe-bomb attack and an abduction in which a young man was beaten and stabbed.

Previously, one man was shot, not fatally, as the battle for drugs territory, worsened by personal hatred, intensified over the last six months, The Irish Times has been told.

One senior figure was jailed recently, but the violence worsened afterwards. In the last week there have been eight incidents in Moneymore and Cement Road in Drogheda.

Gang members from both sides also live elsewhere in Co Louth and Co Meath, prompting attacks in two other counties recently. This week Garda units have moved to tackle the Drogheda outbreaks.

Armed Garda patrols and checkpoints have been conducted. Leave has been restricted, and overtime approved to ensure additional personnel are available,

Rival gang

Last Sunday night gardaí burst into a house on the Moneymore estate and found a young man stripped, beaten and stabbed in a bathroom. He had been abducted a short time earlier by members of the rival gang.

They put a gun to his head and beat him with a hammer or axe. Gardaí say the attack was a very serious one, and they were fearful the abducted man was about to be murdered by his captors.

That abduction followed an arson attack that destroyed a car 24 hours earlier in another feud attack. Following the rescue gardaí and the fire brigade had to deal with a car that was set on fire with gas cylinders inside.

The Army’s bomb disposal unit dealt with a pipe-bomb placed in a car belonging to one gang member on Sunday. Despite the extra Garda presence, a house on Rathmullen Road was attacked with a petrol bomb.

The man rescued from the house on Sunday night is a close associate of a jailed senior criminal who leads one of that feuding gangs.

Bodies

Some members of that gang are suspected of killing Willie Maughan (35) and Latvian national Anastasija (Anna) Varslavane (21). They were last seen in Gormanston, Co Meath, on the afternoon of Sunday, April 14th, 2015.

Gardaí believe they were killed and their bodies disposed of because a senior gang member feared the couple were about to go to the Garda and link him to the gun murder of Benny Whitehouse in Balbriggan in 2014.