Thursday 14 December 2017

Man in 50s to appear in court after De Valera's grave is vandalised

Eamon de Valera served as both Taoiseach and President Picture: Getty
Eamon de Valera served as both Taoiseach and President Picture: Getty
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A man in his 50s has been arrested after defacing the grave of Eamon de Valera.

Gardaí are investigating the damage to the grave of the former President and Taoiseach at Glasnevin Cemetery in north Dublin.

The man was arrested at around 3.30pm yesterday afternoon and taken to Mountjoy garda station for questioning.

A garda spokesperson said the gravestone was vandalised with graffiti and some damage was caused to the headstone.

The man will appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice this morning.

Mr De Valera served as Taoiseach between 1932-48, 1951-54 and 1957-9. He was President for two consecutive terms from 1959-1973.

He died on August 29, 1975, at the age of 92.

He lay in state in St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle, for two days before he was given a State funeral mass at the Pro-Cathedral.

The requiem Mass was celebrated by his grandson Father Seán Ó Cuív. More than 200,000 people paid tribute to the statesman along the three-mile funeral route from Dublin city centre to Glasnevin.

The Army No 1 Band played 'Wrap the Green Flag Round Me' as Mr de Valera was carried into Glasnevin Cemetery.

Official papers released in 2005 under the 30-year disclosure rule showed that British diplomats gloated over the absence of world leaders at the funeral of Mr De Valera.

It's not the first time a historic grave has been vandalised.

Last year, the headstone of WT Cosgrave, the first leader of the Irish Free State, was smashed in Dublin's Goldenbridge cemetary.

Mr Cosgrave's tombstone was also vandalised in 2014 when the cross on the top of the marking was knocked off.

Goldenbridge is a 19th Century walled-in "garden cemetery" in Inchicore, south Dublin.

Irish Independent

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