The brutal murder of Keane Mulready-Woods should serve as a warning to others who are groomed by criminals, the teenager’s funeral was told yesterday.
Parish priest Fr Phil Gaffney told mourners the criminals’ promise of money and gifts would always end in tragedy, and Keane’s association with gangs led to the inhuman, unthinkable way in which his young life was to end.
Gardaí believe Keane was tortured and killed in a house in Drogheda on January 12.
His severed limbs were found a month ago today in a bag that had been dumped from a car in the Moatview estate in Coolock, Dublin.
Two days later, his severed head was found in a burning car off the North Circular Road in Dublin.
Keane had been associated with one of the factions in the murderous Drogheda feud.
Gardaí believe his death and dismemberment, and the dumping of his body parts, were designed to send a message to his crime bosses.
At the Church of the Holy Family in Ballsgrove, Drogheda, yesterday, many of Keane’s friends wore T-shirts with his photograph on them.
His parents Elizabeth and Barry, sister Courtney, and brothers Darren, Ryan and Jack were comforted by family and friends.
Keane should have celebrated his 18th birthday last week, but instead his family had to plan for his funeral.
Fr Gaffney said that to say that the death of Keane had shocked and appalled the town of Drogheda would be a total understatement.
“This young man, at the time not 18 years of age, has been lost in the most gruesome way to his family,” he said.
“This murder has brought about an unparalleled level of revulsion, not alone in Drogheda, but throughout our country and, indeed, far beyond.
“Keane had his troubles and was young and naive enough to fall in with the wrong people, not knowing or anticipating the dire consequences.
“I hope that his death will be a warning to other young teenagers who are being groomed by the ruthless criminals, that the promise of money and gifts will inevitably end in tragedy.”
The priest went on: “This feud in Drogheda has to end sometime. Let’s all hope and pray it ends before more lives are lost.”
In a message aimed at Keane’s friends and the young people of the town, Fr Gaffney said: “Please learn from his mistakes, getting involved with dangerous criminals, thinking some of them were his friends and yet they would sacrifice him in such a brutal manner.
“Drugs have become extremely easy for young people to obtain. Recently someone commented that a lot of people are now budgeting for their debs – as well as their clothes and drink they’re also budgeting now for cocaine, and other drugs.”
Meanwhile, the priest called on the community to help and support gardaí in the most difficult circumstances to cope with the effects of the feud on the town and its environs.
Keane’s white coffin was brought to the church in a hearse followed by a large group of his family, neighbours and friends who walked behind.
His burial took place after requiem Mass in the town’s Calvary cemetery.