The headstone of WT Cosgrave, the first leader of the Irish Free State, and 12 others have been smashed by vandals at one of Dublin’s most famous cemeteries.
The Glasnevin Trust has confirmed that most of the 13 Victorian and pre-Victorian monuments at the Goldenbridge Cemetery were completely destroyed in the latest attacks.
Gardai suspect that a local teenage gang were behind this incident and other similar acts of vandalism.
In a statement, released on Wednesday, the Trust revealed that the grave WT Cosgrave, the father of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, was amongst those smashed by the vandals.
“The destruction was systematic, with most of the monuments being destroyed beyond repair.”
A spokesman went on to explain that the cemetery has been the target of “similar destructive vandalism on a number of occasions in the past couple of years”.
He said: “Glasnevin Trust is actively engaged with the gardai in an effort to bring an end to these truly distressing acts of targeted vandalism.”
Goldenbridge in Inchicore is a 19th century ‘garden cemetery’ and is considered unique in the capital because it is independent of a parish church.
The spokesman explained: “This vandalism is upsetting for all associated with the cemetery, particularly as it comes at a time when the Glasnevin Trust, trustee of the cemetery, is working in conjunction with the Inchicore Development Association and Dublin City Council to involve the cemetery and its history as part of a co-ordinated local development project, including the reopening of Goldenbridge as a fully operating cemetery for the community, following its premature closure in the 1900s.”
Spoke at area committee on disgusting vandalism carried out on the grave of WT Cosgrave in Goldenbridge. Have asked manager to intervene.— Daithí de Róiste (@daithideroiste) March 16, 2016
Local councillor Daithí de Roiste (FF) has blasted this latest vandalism and said this "horrible element of society" needs to be tackled. He added: "No matter where you stand on the treaty, this blatant act of vandalism and destruction is despicable.
"I have raised it this afternoon with the Area Manager and he is going to liaise with Glasnevin Cemetery Trust who manage the cemetery as well as local Gardaí to try address this anti-social behaviour problem."
The graveyard is currently locked and can be visited by appointment only. There are relatively few burials at the graveyard.
Cosgrave, who died in 1965, is buried alongside his wife Louisa, who died six years earlier. His headstone was previously attacked by vandals in 2014.