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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 27 November 2021

Bishop warns cycle of gangland violence in Louth 'will only lead to further tragedy'

Gardaí are expecting an escalation in the feud after the murder of Keith Branigan last week.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

MASS-GOERS IN two Louth parishes were warned this weekend that the threat of gangland reprisals is “a real one” after the recent murder of 29-year-old Keith Branigan at a caravan park in Clogherhead.

Branigan, a convicted criminal and close associate of one of the main players in the Drogheda gang feud, was shot dead last Tuesday as he worked on decking at the site. 

Gardaí are now readying themselves for an escalation in the feud.

At masses in St Michael’s church in Carlingford last night and in St Finnian’s Church in Dillonstown this morning, Bishop Michael Router said he wanted to condemn the “callous murder” of the 29-year-old man. 

He also offered his condolences to the man’s wife, Rachel, and to their loved ones. 

“Such violence and disregard for life is always appalling but for such an act to take place in a holiday camp where people were enjoying the last days of summer, and near to where children were playing, is truly shocking,” he said.

“News reports linked this murder to the ongoing feud between rival gangs in Drogheda and therefore the threat of reprisals is, unfortunately, a real one.

Such a cycle of violence will only lead to further tragedy and loss of life so I would appeal for those involved to desist and consider the futility of their actions.

Bishop Router appealed to anyone with information about the murder or other acts associated with the feud to contact gardaí.

“All of us have an obligation as well to pray that there may be peace and harmony in communities throughout this island and for a renewal of respect for human life which has been so weakened in our society in recent years,” he said. 

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