herald

Friday 24 November 2017

Abducted off street, raped and dumped in a bin bag -- Maria's sickeningly brutal death should shame us all

ANOTHER week, another body is uncovered in the Dublin-Wicklow Mountains.

I've seen a great deal over the years but it's a long time since I've seen anything like the brutal, callous and disturbing murder of Maria Rostas.

Her remains were found on Kippure Mountain, not too far from where the decomposed body of James Kenny McDonagh was found a fortnight before.

I'm familiar with the area. For seven years I worked at Rathfarnham Garda Station and got to know the mountains, a wild and desolate place barely a stone's throw from Dublin city.



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It is a vast expanse of bog, moorland and forest. A wild place. Sadly it also had its sinister aspects. I often wondered how many of our own 'moors murders' may have taken place up there.

Last Monday, the mountains yielded up the most recent of these when the body of Maria Rostas was found by a garda search team in a shallow grave.

Marioara -- whose name is the Roma equivalent of Maria -- was a gypsy.

She disappeared after getting into a car at Westland Row in January 2008. It's believed that the young woman was abducted, held for days as she was raped and beaten, before she was eventually murdered by a shot to the head.

In a horrific twist she may even have been killed by a female associate of the gangster suspected of abducting her.

If that were not bad enough the manner of her burial was stomach-churning.

In a final insult she was discovered in a bin bag, like a piece of rubbish.

It's reported that her killer and his pals may have taken turns in dragging her body up the mountain path before digging a pit to bury her in. I hope they go to their own grave with those hours on their conscience. The discovery of her body and the forensic evidence from the scene ensure the net is creeping in on Maria's killers.

And it's vital, for our society itself, that these murderers are brought to court.

Over the past decade in this country we have been almost rendered immune to murder, so common is the crime.

Gangland killings, crimes of passion, acts of senseless violence. We have seen them all.



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Yet the callous murder of this young woman has shocked the entire nation.

Maria Rostas was on the bottom of society's ladder, exposed and vulnerable. Her killers knew this, which is why they picked her. The fact that they did so, and that she could lie in a shallow grave in the Dublin Mountains puts us all to shame.

It is vital for our society that those who killed Maria, who treated her as a piece of trash, be brought to justice.

How can we, a civilised country in the 21st century, spawn and harbour such psychopaths?

Maria Rostas didn't have much justice in her life, but she can be awarded it in death.

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