A father-of-eight, who cleaned up and removed blood-stained evidence from his Drogheda home where teenager Keane Mulready Woods was murdered, has been jailed for four years.
Sentencing Gerard Ged McKenna at the Central Criminal Court today, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said it was clear that there was nothing he could say or do in any way to alleviate "the terrible anguish" suffered by the family of Mr Mulready Woods as a result of the "vicious and violent manner" of the murder and the "appalling disrespect" shown by the killers in the disposal of the victim's body.
The judge noted that it was not suggested that McKenna was present during the “shocking dismemberment of the boy” or that he had taken any preparatory steps or had any foreknowledge of what was going to be done to the victim. He said the defendant became aware that something had occurred when he walked into the house and was instructed to clean the property.
He said the actions by McKenna of disposing of material evidence was a very serious offence and “a good deal” of the clean up in the house appeared to have been carried out by the perpetrators of the killing.
The judge said that while McKenna had expressed shame and knew the victim since his birth and his family, he did not appear to care at the time what was done to the teenager by these people in his family home but had also not expected him to be murdered.
“Turning a blind eye and assisting criminal gangs is the essential bedrock of their success and this kind of assistance must be discouraged,” he added.
Gardaí searched McKenna's house at Rathmullen Park in Drogheda and observed "a strong smell of paint" and "part of the floor" replaced.
McKenna of Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth pleaded guilty last November to cleaning up and removing evidence from the scene at or near Rathmullan Park, Drogheda in Co Louth, with intent to impede the apprehension or prosecution of a person or persons, knowing or believing that the said person or persons were guilty of the murder of Mr Mulready Woods (17), on a date unknown between January 12th and 14th 2020, both dates inclusive.
Mr Mulready Woods, from Drogheda, was last seen alive in the town on January 12th, 2020.
The following day, some of the teenager's dismembered body parts were found in a holdall in the Moatview area of Coolock in Dublin.
Two days later, his head, hands and feet were found in a burning car in the Drumcondra area of Dublin.