Gardaí from Portlaoise have made further arrests and carried out a number of searches as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation.
This is in relation to the seizure of a large sum of cash at Clonkeen, Portlaoise, on 6 April, 2020 – which it is also understood, has connections to the ongoing investigation into the murders of Keane Mulready Woods and Robbie Lawlor.
The arrests were made during a search and arrest operations carried out in Co Louth and North Co Dublin on Tuesday September, 22.
Two men, aged in their 20s and 30s were arrested during the operation and taken to Portlaoise Garda Station where they were detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.
Both have since been released with without charge, files will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Back on Monday April 6, Gardai arrested two women and seized a large sum of cash.
The incident happened when Gardai stopped a car on the M7 and discovered a huge quantity of cash inside.
They said at the time: “Shortly after 2pm Gardaí stopped a car on the M7 motorway (southbound) in Co Laois and recovered €50k in cash.
“The occupants of the car, two women aged in their 20s and 30s, were arrested at the scene.
“Both were brought to Portlaoise Garda Station where they were detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984, on suspicion of money laundering.”
The two women were subsequently released without charge.
It has been previously reported that this money is linked to two brutal murders – that of teenager Keane-Mulready Woods and one of the main suspects in his demise, Robbie Lawlor.
17-year-old Mulready-Woods disappeared on January 12 where he was murdered and then his body was dismembered in Drogheda.
Over the course of the following week, Mulready-Woods’ remains were found in various locations around Dublin.
Gardai have established that the teenager was part of a crime-feud in Drogheda and was murdered as a result.
Several people have been arrested in connection with the murder but only one, Gerard McKenna, of Rathmullen Park in Drogheda, has been charged.
The 50-year-old was charged on February 28 with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of another person in relation to the death of the teenager – and he is in custody awaiting a trial.
Robbie Lawlor had 124 convictions and was suspected of at least four major killings over the past 15 years.
Since Keane Mulready-Woods’ death, he had kept a low profile until Saturday April 4 when he met his demise.
36-year-old Lawlor, along with three other men, traveled to Ardoyne in Belfast to allegedly collect a drug debt.
However, he was shot several times and died at the scene – with the other men who were with him fleeing the scene.
Four suspects were later arrested and questioned by the PSNI. They were later released without charge.
Irish Sun Crime Editor Stephen Breen explained the link between this money and the murder.
Speaking to Midlands 103’s Will Faulkner, Breen said: “On Monday (back in April) at around 2pm, Gardai from Portlaoise stopped a car on the M7 heading Southbound.
“They arrested two women, aged in their 20s and 30s, and recovered €50,000 in cash.
“And the suspicion is that this was part of the payment for the contract that was on Robbie Lawlor’s head.
“This cash was collected in Dublin by a crime gang and it was to be delivered to Limerick to criminals who it is believed played a part in the murder of Robbie Lawlor.
“So this seizure is significant and will form part of the overall investigation into who plotted to have Robbie Lawlor murdered.”
SEE ALSO – Two patients critically ill with Covid-19 in Portlaoise Hospital