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Oil tank torched at house gardai believe was teen murder site

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Teenager Keane Mulready-Woods was murdered in January

Teenager Keane Mulready-Woods was murdered in January

Teenager Keane Mulready-Woods was murdered in January

Gardai are investigating an arson attack at a property where they believe tragic teen Keane Mulready-Woods was murdered and dismembered.

The incident unfolded at a house in Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, at around 2am yesterday when an oil tank in the garden was set on fire.

Gardai on patrol in the Co Louth town came across the burning tank.

However, sources say the fire did not spread because of the low levels of oil in the tank and it was quickly distinguished.

Detectives were last night trying to establish a motive for the latest incident in the deadly Drogheda feud, which has claimed up to four lives in less than 10 months.

Touting

The property is unoccupied and owned by Louth County Council but gardai believe it was the location for one of the most gruesome incidents in the history of Irish gangland.

"There have been no arrests in relation to Thursday morning's arson attack, which is being investigated as criminal damage by fire," a source said last night.

"One theory is that the Maguire faction who were aligned to young Keane may have ordered it but it could also be some kind of message being sent out to those who masterminded the murder about not touting to gardai.

"Either way the arsonist did not do a very professional job and the fire was put out quickly without injury to anyone."

The development comes after the Herald revealed last week that gardai believe a 25-year-old gang boss who is the leading player in the so-called anti-Maguire faction in the feud is back in the country after months on the run.

For more than a week detectives have been urgently trying to find the thug, whose mob is the chief suspect for the gruesome murder and dismemberment of Keane (17) in January.

A High Court bench warrant was issued for his arrest earlier this year when he absconded to Spain, where he remained for a number of months.

The gang boss who is believed to be now back in Ireland is a close associate of Paul Crosby (24) who was jailed for four-and-a-half years in April for the arson of a stolen car when he was under major garda surveillance because of his role in the bitter Drogheda gang dispute.

Gardai suspect that Crosby may have key information about the events surrounding Keane's gruesome murder in which his close associate Robbie Lawlor was a main suspect.

Just hours after Keane's murder, Crosby was the target of a suspected revenge attack when a gunman mistakenly shot an innocent taxi driver who was driving the gangster in rush-hour traffic in the Co Louth town on the evening of last January 13.

The property targeted in Rathmullen Park yesterday was searched over a number of days after the murder and gardai believe that Keane was killed there.

Burnt

Officers also detected blood "soaked into the floorboards", while DNA testing "has linked" the teen to the house, according to sources.

Furniture was found burnt out in a green area close to the property, while burnt clothing was also recovered.

Gardai also recovered a number of bloodstained machetes in a nearby shed which they believe were used to butcher Keane.

The tragic teen was working for both sides of the Drogheda feud but was more closely aligned to the Owen Maguire-led faction.

The 17-year-old was murdered by the anti-Maguire grouping involved in the increasingly bitter gang war, gardai believe.