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Drogheda feud criminal banged up with mob boss Price in the UK as they await trial in kidnap case

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Cornelius Price

Cornelius Price

Cornelius Price

A criminal heavily involved in the Drogheda feud is one of a number of people banged up in jail in the UK facing serious charges in relation to the kidnapping of two men.

Last month, the Herald revealed that gang boss Cornelius Price and his dangerous sidekick Ger Dundon were arrested as part of the major investigation by the West Midlands organised crime unit.

It can now be revealed that Mark Kavanagh (32), a close associate of paralysed gang boss Owen Maguire, is one of six people charged as part of the investigation.

Relocated

Originally from Yellowbatter in Drogheda, Kavanagh, like many of those involved in the deadly Drogheda feud, fled Ireland earlier this year. In his case, he travelled to Manchester.

While based in the UK, he hooked up with other members of the Maguire gang, including Cornelius Price.

But the criminals did not know that they were the focus of a major surveillance operation by specialist English police which led to their arrests in July.

They were all arrested in relation to the alleged kidnap of two Stoke-on-Trent men and appeared in court last month on charges in connection with kidnap and false imprisonment.

While Price is charged with conspiracy to kidnap, Kavanagh is also charged with kidnap and conspiracy to blackmail.

It is understood they are all housed in HM Prison Dovegate in Uttoxeter while they await trial.

They will appear at Wood Green Crown Court in London on November 13 where it is expected that they will enter pleas in the case. All face lengthy jail terms if convicted.

Kavanagh is one of the main targets of the anti-Maguire faction in the feud which has claimed four lives.

A very close associate of Kavanagh had a lucky escape when the rival faction attempted to murder him in May last year during which an innocent female passer-by was almost hit with a bullet.

In March last year, Kavanagh and Owen Maguire's brother Luke (39) were given suspended jail sentences for being in possession of a number of weapons at Drogheda District Court.

They said they had no intention of using the steel baseball bat and pickaxe handles - as they were in the boot of their vehicle - on Halloween night 2018 at a time when the feud in the troubled town was threatening to spiral out of all control.

When they appeared in court on the charges, members of the rival faction attended the hearing and "sneered and sniggered" at Kavanagh and Maguire.

The court heard the vehicle was leaving Cement Road, Drogheda, on Halloween when it was stopped by the Armed Support Unit, which was patrolling the area.

A search was conducted and a metal baseball bat and two pickaxe handles were found in the boot.

While it is not known exactly when Kavanagh left for Manchester, his associate Price left Ireland after the grisly murder of Keane Mulready-Woods (17) in January which happened as part of the Drogheda feud.

Associate

Price had been living in the small town of Stourport-on-Severn in Worcestershire with his close associate Danny Bridges (39) when both men were arrested by UK detectives in July on the serious kidnapping charges.

Bridges and Price had previously lived together at his compound in Gormanston, Co Meath.

Price is closely linked to the Owen Maguire faction and was a mortal enemy of slain hitman Robbie Lawlor, who threatened to kill members of Price's family when he got out of jail in December.

Price even took to social media to celebrate Lawlor's death on the day of his murder in Belfast last April and was filmed drinking rum in a sinister show of gangland gloating.