herald

Sunday 17 November 2019

Hammer-wielding feud thug arrested for shop robbery

Gang boss Owen Maguire
Gang boss Owen Maguire

A right-hand man of Drogheda feud boss Owen Maguire was in garda custody last night after he was arrested for the attempted armed robbery of a shop.

The reckless thug, aged 22, is suspected of entering a shop in the Rathmullen Road area of Drogheda and producing a hammer while an accomplice brandished a suspected firearm.

The incident happened at around 10am and armed gardai responded to the incident.

The hammer-wielding suspect was arrested while the suspected gunman remained on the run last night.

Campaign

The man in garda custody is suspected of previously carrying out a number of "low level" attacks for the Maguire faction as part of their campaign against their bitter rivals who have links to organised crime gangs in Dublin.

"He would have been used to breaking windows and stuff like that. He is a muppet though," a source said last night.

"The level of his criminality can be seen by the fact that he tried to rob a shop, which is essentially only around the corner from where he lives, and he was arrested then in the aftermath of it.

"His pal managed to get away, even though he was the one with the suspected gun," the source added.

The bitter Drogheda feud, of which the suspect is an active participant, has been "very calm" in recent weeks but gardai insist there has been no truce in the warfare. "Believe this - they will go at each other again as soon as they get a chance," a source pointed out.

Rivals

"Owen Maguire is living on Cement Road - his rivals are only living up the road. This dispute is far from over," the source added.

The last major incident linked to the Drogheda feud was the murder of Keith Branigan (29), in Clogherhead, Co Louth in August.

Gardai believe he was killed by the Maguire faction but no arrests have yet been made in the case.

Branigan (29), a mid-level member of the crime group feuding with associates of Owen Maguire (35), was shot dead outside a caravan park.

Within hours of the murder, a young criminal suspected of a previous feud murder attempt was publicly threatening associates of Maguire.

The hitman, linked to the gun attack on Owen's brother Brendan in February, approached a number of rival criminals and "was making all sorts of threats".

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