Independence hero Cosgrave's grave smashed by vandals
The grave of William T Cosgrave, the first head of an independent Irish government, has been vandalised.
The headstone at the Inchicore cemetery in Dublin where he was interred was broken in two by vandals.
Gardai in Kilmainham are investigating the incident in which the top of the granite cross that marks Mr Cosgrave's resting place, as well as a granite headstone on a separate grave, were smashed off in the senseless act of destruction thought to have happened over the weekend.
Two other headstones were pushed off their bases and broken.
The cemetery is positioned along the Grand Canal at Inchicore, and while it is surrounded by a high stone wall and a locked gate, garda sources said groups of young people frequently use the consecrated site for drinking and anti-social behaviour.
Speaking at the launch of the WT Cosgrave biography at the Royal Irish Academy last night, former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, son of William T, said he believed a few tombstones were damaged.
"The staff in the graveyard are very good, and they will clear it up," Mr Cosgrave said.
WT's granddaughter Mary said she was sorry to hear of the incident. "I think anybody who damages a grave or headstones, it is not showing respect to the people who are buried there.
"I understand that the cemetery's commissioner is looking into it," she said.
A spokesman for the cemetery said the discovery was made by a groundsman.
"The cemetery has been the target of vandalism over the past number of months and in response to this executives of the Glasnevin Trust have recently met with public representatives, Dublin City Council and gardai," he added.
The Trust is repairing the graves without any costs to families.
William T Cosgrave was one of the last people buried in the cemetery when his funeral took place on November 18, 1965.