12 March 2020, The Tablet

How the Drogheda tackles drugs-related violence

Tablet Education

How the Drogheda tackles drugs-related violence

Protesters during a rally in Drogheda, Co. Louth, to voice opposition to drug-related violence in the town
Photo: PA, Caroline Quinn


Lives of traumatised teenagers in a troubled town on the River Boyne are being derailed by drug gangs. But now, as Sarah Mac Donald reports, front-line youth workers are helping to put them back on track

WHEN youth worker Monica Murphy (inset) recently asked boys attending Southside Community Youth Project in Drogheda to draw pictures of life in their home area, most of the 10-year-olds depicted shootings, cars being smashed up and windows in houses being broken.

The County Louth town, which lies 30 miles north of Dublin, has been under siege in recent months as an escalating gangland feud spilt violently on to its main streets. More often it has played out in its disadvantaged estates. Petrol-bombed homes, stabbings and intimidatory tactics culminated in three killings in six months. One innocent taxi driver was injured on a busy street as criminals shot at his passenger. The randomness was terrifying. However, it was the brutal killing of local teenager Keane Mulready-Woods and the gruesome dismemberment of his body that brought thousands on to the streets of Drogheda in January to demand an end to the violence.

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