Gang boss laughed at mum who asked for return of son’s remains for Christian burial
Willie Maughan’s mother Nell and husband Joe Maughan said they believe vile chiefs Cornelius Price and Owen Maguire are being punished as they deal with serious health blow
6th January 2023
A callous gang boss laughed when a mum asked for her son’s remains to be returned so that he could be given a Christian burial.
Willie Maughan’s mother Nell and husband Joe Maughan said they believe vile chiefs Cornelius Price and Owen Maguire are being punished as they deal with serious health blows. Tragic Willie, 34, and his pregnant partner Ana Varslavane, 21, were last seen alive in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on April 14, 2015.
They were murdered but their remains have never been found. In an exclusive interview with the Irish Mirror, Nell told how she believes false stories were pushed by the murder gang to try and make their family give up hope.
The brave parents, who have relentlessly fought for justice for nearly eight years, are pleading with those who hold vital information on the location of the bodies to give them peace in their lifetime. Nell told us: “It will give us closure. And down the road when me and Joe are gone, I don’t want our family and grandchildren living in limbo the way we’re living in it.
“We just want closure, get them back and let justice take its course.”
In an affidavit filed with the High Court as part of a Criminal Assets Bureau case against mobster Owen Maguire and his brother Brendan, a Garda Detective Inspector said: “It is my belief that members of the Price-Maguire OGC carried out the double murder.
“Both William and Anastasija were last seen alive at a property belonging to Mr Price.”
The top detective alleged their murders were committed “in order to protect their [Price-Maguire gang’s] drug distribution business”. Speaking from their family home in Dublin, grieving Nell told us: “In the early stages when it happened I got on the phone to this woman and I said, ‘Please will you tell me where my child is.’
“And that’s when they put the story out to say William and Ana were murdered, cut up and burnt. And their body pieces were thrown around in different areas. I didn’t believe that. And it was a good job we’re a strong family that we didn’t swallow it.
“When I spoke to a man over the phone I said: ‘Please tell me where my child is so I can give him a Christian burial.’
“That person laughed down the phone to me. I said: ‘You’re after taking two innocent people’s lives. ‘My family’s hearts are broken but I said a day will come when our hearts will be mended.
“Yours will never mend with what you have done.’ He laughed at me on that phone.” Nearly eight years on from the murders, Owen Maguire is paralysed in a wheelchair after being shot in 2018 by crazed slain hitman Robbie Lawlor while Price remains gravely ill in a UK hospital with an auto-immune disease.
Willie’s parents believe it is God punishing them. Joe said: “They lost everything because of William.
“It opened up people’s eyes to what they were. They have nothing now.” Nell added: “People saw what happened and could have intervened and could have done something.
“And obviously this is going into the paper and I have nothing to fear. I said, ‘God I’m leaving this in your hands and you’re more powerful than me’ because Price is left like a vegetable and Owen Maguire is no better. They have lost everything, God paid them back.”
On the day of the incident, Willie’s pregant girlfriend Ana called Nell’s phone screaming: “Help, help, help.” Another son of Nell and Joe, who has special needs, answered the phone initially before giving it to his mother. Joe explained that the gang thought Ana was already dead when she made the call. He told us: “The reason why Ana rang that number is that William rang Nell at around twenty five to two.
“He rang her up with Ana’s phone. So that was the last number Ana’s phone had rang. That woman was on her deathbed.
“There’s rumours that she was lying down, they thought she was dead, she wasn’t but she was almost. And my young lad answered the phone and her last words were, ‘Help, help, help.’
“That was her last words. They realised she wasn’t dead, she was grabbed and they then finished her off.” Nell said she heard women in the background and knew a number of people were present at the time. She added “There were a lot of people there that day.” Nell urged those with information to come forward.
She continued: “I would plead from my heart as a mother that if anyone has that information and let us have our bodies back. You can do it anonymously.”
Joe added: “It never gets easier for us, it’s harder. I’m 68 now and Nell is 64. It would be crazy to leave the earth and know nothing and to have no justice.”