'We just want to give him a decent burial' - Father of missing Willie Maughan accepts Gardai are looking for a body
The heartbroken father of a man missing for three months believes Gardai will only find “body parts at this stage”.
An emotional Joe Maughan said he had given up hope of ever finding his son Willie (38) alive, and said he hoped a Garda search by the Devlin River near the Dublin-Meath border would recover his son’s body “and give our family peace”.
“After 12 weeks I expect Gardaí are looking for body parts of Willie at this stage,” he told the Irish Star.
“But we’ll take back [our son] whatever way he is and give him a decent burial.”
Willie and his partner Anna Varslavane (21) vanished without trace from the Gormanston area of County Meath in April.
It is feared the couple may have been murdered by a notorious gang who are also responsible for shooting dead one of their criminal rivals in broad daylight in Dublin last year.
The operation along the Devlin River has been ongoing since Wednesday, and sources say Gardaí are working on information that the couple's bodies were dumped in a pond close to the M1 motorway.
The pair were reported missing on April 14, and despite a number of public appeals regarding their whereabouts, they still have not been found.
Speaking to the Irish Star, Mr Maughan claimed he was haunted by fears his son was calling out for him.
Addressing his missing son, he said: “When you were growing up I was always there when you needed me, but when you needed me most, I wasn’t there. And you were crying out for help”.
Following the couple's disappearance, Mr Maughan said he believed his son had knowledge that was dangerous to his welfare.
"My son knew something that he should not have known and that is why they have been taken away," he said.
"Our son is not a criminal and his girlfriend is an innocent girl who had no family in this country."