Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.30 30 Jan 2020


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Children as young as 10 in Drogheda, Co Louth are drawing pictures of guns due to the  ongoing gang feud in the town.

That is according to a youth worker, who has been working for several years to offer alternatives to teenagers seen as being at-risk of falling into a life of crime.

It follows the murder of 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods - whose dismembered remains were found in two areas of Dublin earlier this month.

Monica Murphy is the coordinator of the Southside Community Youth Project in Drogheda.

She says some of the young boys she works with have been deeply affected.

"We were doing some artwork with our young people - so they'd from 10 to 12 - and I was asking them to just to draw what life is like in your community at the minute.

"And some of the pictures they drew: helicopters, broken windows, taxis, guns, lots of guns.

"And I just kind of thought [that] there's a lot of work that we will have to do, even if this feud stops.

"There is going to be a lot of work that frontline workers are going to have to do with the young people to help them get through this as well".

While a local councillor says it has been impacting the lives of ordinary residents.

Labour Councillor Pio Smth says: "Outside of the feud, there was a good jovial atmosphere in the town and a great expectation that things were going to go well for Drogheda.

"The last 12 to 18 months, there's a certain anxiety floating around town - and particularly in the last couple of weeks now, there is anxiety and a sense of fear among some people about what's going to happen next".

"Also people are concerned about the fact that they don't want the town being portrayed as just something about a feud and gangs - there's lots of good stuff happening in the town".

Rehabilitation centre The Red Door Project works with 21 people and has 13 staff.

Supervisor Joanna Dwyer says: "We have a gym upstairs, we've a woodwork room, we have a garden with bees in it, there's an art room, we have group therapy.

"We're trying to show people a balance in their life - so where their lives are in addiction, we're trying to show them a balance here: that there's a bit of family and a bit of downtime and a bit of relaxation.

"We don't have the capacity to deal with the amount of people that want to come on, unfortunately".

"What happens is, in the nature of addiction, they fall, they go away again, back using or something happens and we lose people because we have to put people on waiting lists".


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Drogheda Feud Joanna Dwyer Keane Mulready-Woods Louth Pat Kenny Pio Smth Southside Community Youth Project The Red Door Project

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