Who was murdered teenager Keane Mulready-Woods?

‘Best scrambler rider in Drogheda’ lured into petty offending by promises of local criminals

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he has spoken with gardaí in Drogheda to offer assistance such as CCTV monitoring and additional resources in light of the murder of teenager Keane Mulready-Woods.

 

The full tragedy of teenager Keane Mulready-Woods’s death played out, as so many things do these days, on social media.

“Has anyone seen my brother he’s only 17 and he’s missing since yesterday evening and no one heard from him or can get through to him and anyone he’s usually with is texting me looking for him,” his sister Courtney asked on Facebook on Monday afternoon.

By then, her brother had not been seen by family or friends since 6pm on Sunday when he was spotted near Dominic’s Bridge in Drogheda, Co Louth, where he was from.

Even at that early stage, his family had good reason to be worried. In recent days, Keane had been warned by gardaí his life was in danger after a known criminal had shared a video on social media threatening to abduct and kill him.

Keane grew up in Drogheda and attended St Oliver’s Community College in the town. A popular youth from a well-liked, working-class family, the teenager was a fan of motocross and owned his own scrambler bike.

In his mid-teens he was lured into petty offending by local criminals with the promise of money, designer clothes and prestige. It’s a route into criminality for many youths all around the country.

“It’s a very hard thing to resist if you’re in that peer group. It’s a thing we see all the time. First they might buy them a pair of runners in exchange for some minor errand. Then it ramps up into dealing and intimidation,” said a local youth worker who knew the boy.

Keane’s descent into Drogheda’s criminal underworld happened faster than usual. He became involved with one of the major drug gangs in the area at a time when its feud with a rival group was beginning to heat up.

The group began carrying out petrol and pipe bomb attacks on its rivals and their family members. Like every other gang in the town, it was also heavily involved in the drug trade and happily deployed threats and intimidation to enforce debts.

Keane was expected to take part in this. Last year, he smashed the window of home of the mother of a boy who owed a drug debt before throwing a petrol bomb inside. Around the same time, he picked up a conviction for possession of a small amount of cannabis.

By the time Courtney Mulready-Woods made her plea for information about her brother on Monday, he was likely already dead.

Gardaí believe he was lured to a house in the Rathmullen Park area of Drogheda on Sunday evening, where he was murdered and dismembered.

The body parts were then transported to Dublin. On Monday night, children in the Moatview area of Coolock in north Dublin came across a sports bag containing limbs. On Tuesday, a head was found in a burning car at Trinity Terrace off Clonliffe Avenue, not too far from Croke Park.

“You are so special in my life that I know no other person will be able to take your place my brother,” Keane’s sister posted after gardaí confirmed the remains belonged to the teenager.

“Fly high cuz. You were one of a kind! The best scrambler rider in Drogheda! Love you so much,” a cousin posted.

The terrible aftermath of Keane’s killing also continues to play out on social media.

On Wednesday, a Drogheda criminal uploaded a video to the internet threatening to kill one of the chief suspects in Keane’s murder.

And on Thursday, gardaí were forced to issue a request that people stop sharing videos on social media purporting to show Keane’s murder and his dismembered corpse.