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Potential breakthrough in double murder investigation as associate of gangland figure arrested

The couple went missing in April 2015.

Anna and Willie.
Anna and Willie.
Image: Garda Press Office

Updated Apr 28th 2020, 5:13 PM

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING THE murders of Willie Maughan and Anna Varslavane arrested a man linked to a serious crime figure from Louth, marking the first major breakthrough for gardaí. 

An English national in his 50s was arrested by gardaí in relation to the murders. 

William and his girlfriend Ana, 20, were last seen in the Gormanston area of Meath on 14 April 2015.

Moments before that, Ana rang Willie’s mother’s phone, where a woman’s cries for help could be heard, according to interviews given by Willie’s parents. That was the last anyone had heard from them. 

Gardaí investigating this murder have always believed that one of the main people in involved in the Drogheda feud was suspected of ordering the murder. 

It has always been the belief of Willie’s father, Joe, that gangland elements had ordered his son to do something on their behalf and that Willie was killed when he refused to do it. 

The gangland figure and chief suspect for the double murder – who is still at large – fled Ireland earlier this year, in the wake of the murder and dismemberment of 17-year-old of Keane Mulready-Woods.

It’s believed he left the country due to an influx of gardaí into the area as well as fears for his own life. 

Gardaí investigating the murder and dismemberment of Keane Mulready-Woods have managed to obtain significant amounts of information regarding criminality in the Drogheda region during the course of their duties in recent months. 

This has led officers to make serious inroads into the drug network in the north-east of the country. 

Gardaí believe that there are over 20 people connected to the Drogheda feud whose lives are currently in imminent danger. Two brothers considered to be the most at risk have already fled to Spain.

Gardaí have conducted a number of search operations for the couple and have received various tip-offs. 

In 2017, an area was sealed off in Louth after gardaí received credible intelligence as to the possible whereabouts of the couple’s bodies. 

Willie’s father Joe has always said he wanted to give his son and his girlfriend a proper burial and continues to appeal to people with information to contact the authorities. 
Anyone with any information is being urged to contact the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111.

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