A manhunt is under way for a major Drogheda feud criminal - who is also suspected of involvement in the gruesome murder of Keane Mulready-Woods (17) - after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Specialist gardai were closely watching Dublin Airport and Port yesterday amid fears that the criminal - a leading member on one side of the bloody feud - would flee to England.
Officers have been warned that the thug is "dangerous" and armed gardai may be required to deal with him.
The arrest warrant, issued last Thursday, is not linked to last week's savage abduction, murder and dismemberment of the Drogheda teenager.
The warrant alleges that the mobster has repeatedly breached strict bail conditions since December.
The criminal, in his 20s, is facing serious charges in relation to an incident in Drogheda last year.
The warrant states that he has failed to sign on at a garda station as required by his bail conditions in December and this month.
It is also alleged that the criminal has not been constantly staying at an address in Drogheda which he is also obliged to do.
"Gardai hope to execute the arrest warrant with the intention of bringing the suspect off the streets and into prison," a source told the Herald.
"If this happens it will ease tensions in the Co Louth town - there is a very strange atmosphere in Drogheda at the moment."
The mobster is a main target for the rival Maguire faction and survived a recent attempt on his life.
Sources say that the criminal has been "driving a lot of the hatred" in the feud and is suspected of goading and abusing paralysed Owen Maguire last year in a phone call.
In the call recorded and shared on social media, Maguire - who is confined to a wheelchair after being shot by the rival gang in July 2018 - is ridiculed about being left paralysed, with the rival mobster asking: "Do you want to go for a walk and sort this out?"
The latest development comes as it emerged that a verbal dispute over a pair of flip-flops may have led to the brutal murder and dismemberment of Mulready-Woods.
A Dublin criminal in his 30s, released from jail just weeks ago, was recently attacked and filmed on a Dublin street, with footage shared on social media.
Later, the Coolock man suspected of carrying out the assault posted a selfie in a pair of black and white flip-flops which are believed to have been taken from the criminal's gym bag.
Investigators say tensions grew after the incident and sources say that the criminal and his associates were furious at how he was ridiculed publicly by the young Coolock man.
In a gruesome turn of events, a pair of flip-flops was found in the bag containing the limbs of Mulready-Woods last Monday.
Gardai received intelligence that the video incident may be intertwined in the savage murder shortly after the teenager vanished from Drogheda.
The fitness fanatic criminal, who has more than 120 convictions including for drug offences, is just one of a number of major gangland figures whose recent activities are being looked at as part of the murder probe.
This individual has links to drug dealer Richie Carberry, shot dead outside his Bettystown home while the criminal was in jail.
Carberry - gunned down in the driveway of his house in early November - is understood to have been murdered on the orders of Mr Big, a Coolock drug boss and associate of Cornelius Price.
Price is in turn closely aligned to Owen Maguire, whose gang is at war with their Drogheda opposition.
Price's compound in Gormanston, Co Meath, was searched a number of times last week by gardai, first trying to locate Mulready-Woods's decapitated head and now his torso.
Gardai and forensics experts are now working through the evidence gathered to date, including knives found at a house at Rathmullen Park, where gardai believe the teen may have been killed.
The house has now been boarded up.
No arrests have yet been made but gardai are following definite lines of inquiry.
Meanwhile, the family of Mulready-Woods are awaiting word as to when they can organise his funeral.
Not all of his body has been found yet, something which is causing his family a lot of stress and worry.
It is believed that if the torso was found it would yield evidence of how the teen was killed, as a cause of death has not yet been identified based on the remains found to date.