Gang dig grave of missing man's brother so deep 'family could see old tape recorder placed on coffin'
Gardai are examining CCTV footage in a bid to identify the people who dug up a grave in Tallaght this week.
The Herald understands no suspects have been identified yet, but a ruthless Dublin gang are believed to be responsible for disturbing the grave of Michael Maughan.
Michael's brother William and girlfriend Anna are believed to have been killed by the same gang.
The Maughan family believe the gang are trying to intimidate them.
Approximately four feet of soil was removed from above the grave at Bohernabreena Cemetery, in Tallaght.
It is understood it would take up to four hours to dig out that amount of soil.
William's father Joe told the Herald that the grave had been tended to "every day" by his wife and other family members, since Michael - who died of meningitis eight years ago - was buried.
The vandals dug down so deep that the family could see an old tape recorder that had been placed on top of Michael's coffin when he was laid to rest.
Joe said the thuggish act was "disgusting" and thanked local authorities for fixing the grave up.
"I want to thank South Dublin County Council for what they've done - they've cleaned it up, squared it off and put top soil on my son's coffin," Joe said.
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"At the moment they're letting the grave rest and they're going to repair it better next week.
"It won't be like it was (before the damage). The work to that grave over the last eight years was unbelievable.
"Every single day, one of my kids or my family were up there - we never left that grave there," he added.
The family are hoping that it can be returned to close to how it once was.
Joe said it was like he was burying his son all over again.
"It was an easy way out for them (the culprits) to see if they can damage a person that is not going to move or not going to retaliate," he said.
"They're dealing with a person in a grave that's not going to do anything. I know these people are cowards," he added.
Still in shock at the incident, Joe has appealed again for the courts to refuse the impending bail application by the man gardai believe killed William and his Latvian girlfriend, Anna Varslavane, last year.
"What kind of people are out there? What happened here is the worst of the worst, but that won't stop me fighting for justice for my son," he said.
"They can shoot me, I won't hold back. Me and my family will go to our graves, but we will get justice in the end," he added.
William and Anna are believed to have been murdered because they had information relating to a gangland murder.
They were last seen alive in the Gormanston area on the Dublin-Meath border, on April 14, 2015. Gardai believe their deaths were ordered by a gangland boss who operates in the north county Dublin, Meath and Louth areas.
Despite a number of searches in the Meath area for the bodies of the couple, they have yet to be found.