Thursday 29 September 2016

Father of missing man threatened after appeal on RTE's 'Crimecall'

Published 03/12/2015 | 02:30

Helen and Joe Maughan, parents of Willie Maughan who is missing along with his girlfriend Anna Varslavane, at the ceremony in Farmleigh yesterday
Helen and Joe Maughan, parents of Willie Maughan who is missing along with his girlfriend Anna Varslavane, at the ceremony in Farmleigh yesterday
Helen and Joseph, parents of William Maughan, who is missing along with his girlfriend Anna Varslavane.

The father of a missing man has told of how he received a death threat after a recent TV appeal for information about his son.

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Joseph Maughan, whose son Willie (34) and his girlfriend Anna Varslavane (21) went missing from Co Meath in April, appeared on RTÉ's crime investigation programme 'Crimecall' last month.

Speaking to the Irish Independent at an event to mark National Missing Persons Day in Dublin yesterday, Mr Maughan revealed he was left fearing for his own life after the show aired.

"We're in bits - the whole family is in bits.

Lena and Anthony Clarke, grandmother and uncle of missing Elizabeth Clarke at the event in Farmleight House yesterday
Lena and Anthony Clarke, grandmother and uncle of missing Elizabeth Clarke at the event in Farmleight House yesterday
Michael Jacob, father of missing Deirdre Jacob speaking to families at the ceremony at Farmleigh yesterday
Dympna Kerr, sister of missing Columba McVeigh, speaking to families at the ceremony at Farmleigh yesterday
Elizabeth Clarke

"We were on the telly there two weeks ago and I got threatened that evening and my daughter, Tina, got threatened later on that evening.

"More or less, threatening my family: 'You'll be going to the graveyard again'. I know I'm going the graveyard, but when, that's up to God and nobody else.

Anna Varslavane and Willie Maughan
Anna Varslavane and Willie Maughan

"Only one person can stop me from speaking out, and if He wants me to stop, I'll stop."

Hundreds of people from across the country gathered at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park to remember loved ones who never came home.

Seventeen years after his daughter Deirdre vanished from outside the family home, Michael Jacob described waiting as "the enemy" for families and friends of Ireland's 214 missing people. "Every day is a challenge - not just the birthdays, the anniversaries or National Missing Persons Day. We are consumed by the loss every day and night," he said.

"Ask anyone in this room, and they will tell you, we are lost ourselves."

Columba McVeigh (18), the 'Disappeared' teenager who was kidnapped and killed by the IRA in 1975, and missing Elizabeth Clarke (25), last seen in Navan in 2013, were just two of the others remembered at the third annual event.

Announcing a full review of missing persons services, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan praised the bravery of the families, and vowed to "never stop in our search for answers".

"Sometimes we say we know how you feel in our attempt to comfort each other, but I think it doesn't really apply because we don't know how you feel when someone you love has gone missing.

"We can't know how you feel, and we just can't know how it feels to have so many unanswered questions," the commissioner said. "We're looking at new and innovative ways to collaborate with partner agencies and services to make sure that there's joined-up thinking right across the board, and that there's no gap or that there's no stone left unturned."

Irish Independent

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