NewsCrime Desk

Caged gang boss faces huge pressure from rivals

Willie Maughan and girlfriend Anna Varslavane
Willie Maughan and girlfriend Anna Varslavane

THE leader of a vicious murder mob who are suspected of digging up a grave last week will remain in custody after gardai successfully objected to him getting bail, it has emerged.

However, reports indicate that the feared gang boss is facing increasing pressure from rival criminals and even gangsters in his own organisation because his twisted crimes have attracted so much garda attention.

“Jail might well be the safest place for him right now, this individual is starting to come under severe pressure,” a source said last night.

“The expectation is that when he is finally released from prison, he will be very much a marked man and even his former comrades are turning against him,” the source added.

The latest outrage linked to the brutal gang happened shortly after 2am last Thursday at Bohernabreena Cemetery in Tallaght, when the grave of a relative of a man they are believed to have murdered was dug up.

The grave of Michael Maughan was unearthed under the cover of darkness.

The sinister incident occurred a day after Michael’s father Joe appealed for information to help find the remains of his son William (34) and William’s partner, Anna Varslavane (21), who were last seen in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on April 14, last year.

However, sources say the grave desecration may also be linked to an alleged incident in Tallaght in which a woman was stabbed in the neck with a fork.

A solidarity march will take place for the Maughan family tomorrow at 6.30pm, starting in the home of the Maughans in Cushlawn Park. Supporters will march with the family to Michael’s grave.

The gang suspected of being behind the murders of William Maughan and his partner Anna are also linked to the murder of 35-year-old Benny Whitehouse, who was shot dead outside a school in Balbriggan almost two years ago.

Gardai have been on high alert that slain Benny Whitehouse’s brothers Jimmy and Clifford will become the next targets of the mob.

The leader of the gang has been locked up since just after last Christmas.

The Herald previously revealed that the thug taunted and laughed at gardai as they carried out searches for the missing couple last summer.

His gang have close links to English gangs and other Traveller crime networks.

His right-hand man is out of jail after spending a number of months on remand and gardai are fearful of more bloodshed.

A hitman who has carried out murders for the mob is also back in the country after spending some time in Spain.

It previously emerged that another gang has moved onto the turf of the jailed gang boss’s organisation.

Apart from taking over his drugs rackets, sources say that the rival gang have moved in on his stolen car business. “When he gets out of jail, he is going to find things a lot tougher that is for sure,” a source said.