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gang gopher Cornelius Price 'gopher' knows who got rid of bodies of missing couple, Willie Maughan's dad claims

Stephen 'Gibby' Gibbons was arrested for links to death of missing couple

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Stephen Gibbons

Stephen Gibbons

Stephen Gibbons

A man who a court heard this week was a 'gopher' for gang boss Cornelius Price, was previously beaten up by members of the gang, it has been claimed.

On Wednesday, Stephen 'Gibby' Gibbons - a low-level member of the gang led by Cornelius Price - was jailed for seven years for possessing a sub-machine gun.

Gibbons was previously arrested over the murders of missing couple William Maughan and Ana Varslavane, who it's believed were murdered by associates after disappearing in April, 2015.

Speaking to the Sunday World this week, William's father Joe, who has campaigned tirelessly for information about the couple's murder and disappearance, said his son had told him that Gibbons had been attacked by Price's gang.

"This is all coming after your man getting seven years during the week," said Joe Maughan.

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Joe Maughan

Joe Maughan

Joe Maughan

"Even though he was only a gopher for them, he would know who was involved in doing away with the bodies."

Stephen 'Gibby' Gibbons, who had been married to Price's aunt, has been described as a stooge for the gang and sent out to carry out minor tasks.

The 9mm Makarov gun was found in a black sack found in the ditch on a lane leading to Price's compound at Rockleigh House, where Gibbons lived on January 15 last year.

Joe Maughan said that, before his death, William had told him how 57-year-old Gibby was physically abused by members of the gang.

"William used to tell me about Cornelius Price beating him up and kicking him around the yard, locking him up in his shed."

Price, who is still on bail in the UK where he awaiting trial for conspiracy to kidnap, has been trying to intimidate the Maughan family, according to Joe.

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Cornelius Price

Cornelius Price

Cornelius Price

He said while Price did not contact him directly phone calls were made to family friends and friends of his deceased son asking where various people lived.

"When he got out of prison the last time a couple of months ago he was ringing, friends of mine, friends of William and myself, looking for this looking for that, where does this fella live, where does that fella live?"

The investigation into the murders is ongoing and has overlapped with other major investigations including those into deadly Drogheda gangland feud.

Gruesome claims of how William and Ana Varslavane reportedly died, which emerged this week, has left his family feeling "disgusted and down", but still hopeful they'll see justice.

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William Maughan and Ana were killed

William Maughan and Ana were killed

William Maughan and Ana were killed

The couple were attacked and beaten to death by associates of gang boss Cornelius Price at the Co. Meath property where they lived, according to reports.

A caller to the Garda Confidential phone line is said to have recently told how Ana was hit with an iron by an older woman.

At the same time William was attacked by a group of four to five men and that there their bodies were later incinerated to leave no trace.

But despite the distressing details of their death, William's father Joe said the fact someone had come forward means "there's always hopes (sic)."

"We're here in the house and we're disgusted with that, I'm really down over it now to be honest with you - what they had done to my son and his girlfriend."

"I have great faith in God - that's what is keeping me going. Somebody, someday might say 'I have had enough of this; my conscience can't live with it.' "There's always hope. Is there many strings left for us? Not too many."

The couple were killed because they planned to leave Price's compound at Gormanstown to start a new life, but gang associates feared they could be linked to the murder of Benny Whitehouse in Balbriggan the year before, it is believed.

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