The Irish Times view on gangland crime: putting it up to the State

With the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods, there is a sense that a Rubicon has been crossed within Irish organised crime

Gardaí searching an area known locally as The Banks near a house on Rathmullen Park, Drogheda. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Gardaí searching an area known locally as The Banks near a house on Rathmullen Park, Drogheda. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

The dismembering of the remains of homicide victims is not new to Ireland, though fortunately, the number of cases has been very small. With the murder of Keane Mulready-Woods, however, there is a sense that a Rubicon has been crossed within Irish organised crime.

The victim is a 17-year-old boy, drawn into the drugs trade and his life extinguished by it before he had even reached adulthood. His body was not dismembered to frustrate subsequent criminal investigations or to ease its disposal but because the gang suspected of his murder had made a specific threat that this would be his fate and were depraved enough to follow through on it.

Equally worrying is the reality that teenagers are being recruited by gangs across the State

The treatment of the boy’s remains was deliberately intended to cause maximum intimidation, gardaí believe. Parts of his body were left at two locations in Dublin because his killers wanted to demonstrate what they were capable of. In doing so they adopted a tactic associated with Latin American and Asian crime cartels.

Gardaí have committed themselves to tackling the feuding gangs in Drogheda. And when such criminality has occured in the past, many gang members have been successfully taken out of commission through determined Garda work. Chief Supt Christy Mangan’s assertion that a crime like the murder of Mulready-Woods had no place in any democratic society was a tacit admission that the group responsible was challenging the authority of the State. That is a confrontation the forces of law and order must – and will – win.

Equally worrying and challenging is the reality that teenagers are being recruited by gangs across the State. Lured by the prospect of instant wealth and influence within their communities, they are deployed as foot soldiers, dispensing threats and violence and transporting and selling drugs. This cycle needs to be broken. Children must be reached as they enter national school if not before. Early intervention projects must be established in disadvantaged communities and must be well resourced. Attractive alternatives need to be visible to young people at risk.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.