Priest says funeral for Irish burglar killed in car crash ‘the most disturbing I’ve ever been to’


A priest has declared the funeral for an Irish burglar who was killed in a car crash as ‘the most disturbing I’ve ever been to’ after mourners celebrated his criminality and violent nature. 

Dean Maguire, 29, was killed along with Karl Freeman, 26, and Graham Taylor, 31, on July 8 after their car collided with a truck and subsequently burst into flames near Dublin. 

The trio, who had over 200 convictions between them and who were part of a notorious criminal gang, had been purposefully driving on the wrong side of the road after being chased by the gardai.  

Mr Maguire’s funeral at St Mary’s Priory in Tallaght on the outskirts of Dublin on Friday has sparked criticism after the attendees paid tribute to his life of crime with some leaving a torch, screwdriver and registration plate as offerings, reports The Irish Times.  

During the eulogies, one family member received a round of applause after she said: ‘Sorry for the language father. Rest in peace you f***ing legend’. 

Behind the altar of the Catholic church, a professionally printed banner adorned the wall and read: ‘You know the score, get on the floor, don’t be funny, show me the money.’  

A priest has declared the funeral for Irish burglar Dean Maguire who was killed in a car crash as 'the most disturbing I've ever been to' after mourners celebrated his criminality and violent nature

A priest has declared the funeral for Irish burglar Dean Maguire who was killed in a car crash as ‘the most disturbing I’ve ever been to’ after mourners celebrated his criminality and violent nature

The funeral procession was escorted by a group of youngsters on motorcycles who stopped to rev their engines along the route while blocking off roads

The funeral procession was escorted by a group of youngsters on motorcycles who stopped to rev their engines along the route while blocking off roads

The funeral procession was escorted by a group of youngsters on motorcycles who stopped to rev their engines along the route while blocking off roads

The funeral brought scores of people - some of whom were wearing black t-shirts with a picture of Mr Maguire printed on them - to the church who did not socially distance and the numbers far exceeded the 50 person limit

The funeral brought scores of people - some of whom were wearing black t-shirts with a picture of Mr Maguire printed on them - to the church who did not socially distance and the numbers far exceeded the 50 person limit

The funeral brought scores of people – some of whom were wearing black t-shirts with a picture of Mr Maguire printed on them – to the church who did not socially distance and the numbers far exceeded the 50 person limit

Dean Maguire, 29, was killed in a car crash

Dean Maguire, 29, was killed in a car crash

Dean Maguire, 29, was killed in a car crash

Father Donal Roche, who did not conduct the service but was at the funeral to help with Covid-19 regulations, told RTÉ Liveline: ‘It was the most disturbing liturgy I have ever been at. There was a sense of restlessness, and the priest officiating was up against it.’

He told The Irish Times he was unaware of the offerings and had not read the banner but said they were ‘terrible’, while describing the eulogies as ‘very strange’.    

Father Roche added that there was no mention of the truck driver who was hospitalised with injuries to his legs after the three men collided with the lorry. 

At the time of his death, Mr Maguire was wanted by UK police after he fled a prison in Suffolk in 2018. 

The funeral brought scores of people – some of whom were wearing black t-shirts with a picture of Mr Maguire printed on them – to the church who did not socially distance and the numbers far exceeded the 50 person limit.  

Father Roche said: ‘People poured in from the start. I tried to lock the church and only did so with difficulty.’

The priest said when he turned to assist mourners, a person had opened the church door and scores rushed inside. 

‘They came in so fast that I wasn’t able to count properly,’ he said, adding that tape used on pews to stop people from sitting there was ripped off. 

Meanwhile, flower arrangements described Mr Maguire as a 'Daddy', a 'Babby' and a 'Mad Man'

Meanwhile, flower arrangements described Mr Maguire as a 'Daddy', a 'Babby' and a 'Mad Man'

Meanwhile, flower arrangements described Mr Maguire as a ‘Daddy’, a ‘Babby’ and a ‘Mad Man’

Behind the altar of the Catholic church, a professionally printed banner adorned the wall and read: 'You know the score, get on the floor, don't be funny, show me the money'

Behind the altar of the Catholic church, a professionally printed banner adorned the wall and read: 'You know the score, get on the floor, don't be funny, show me the money'

Behind the altar of the Catholic church, a professionally printed banner adorned the wall and read: ‘You know the score, get on the floor, don’t be funny, show me the money’

People wearing t-shirts with Dean Maguire's picture on them carry his coffin to the church

People wearing t-shirts with Dean Maguire's picture on them carry his coffin to the church

People wearing t-shirts with Dean Maguire’s picture on them carry his coffin to the church

He said another clergy member had called the Garda for help with the crowd – but the police said their presence would just aggravate the situation and they would only attend if there was criminality reported, reports Extra.ie. 

Mr Maguire’s coffin was transported on a carriage by four black horses who were wearing blue feathers above their heads. 

The funeral procession was escorted by a group of youngsters on motorcycles who stopped to rev their engines along the route while blocking off roads.   

Scores of friends and family paid tribute to the father-of-two, with one saying they couldn’t disclose all of the memories they have had because they could get in trouble with the police. 

A friend said: ‘I could write a book of the memories we have together, the good and the bad. But I won’t mention them because you can’t get flipped but I can. You know the score brother.’

A family member said Mr Maguire was protective of his brother Paddy, while adding that his ‘legacy will live on forever’. 

‘If Paddy had an argument with someone you would say, “Paddy show me where they live and I will go up and blow them off the map.” There will be never be a day you are not thought of. Your legacy will live on forever.’  

Mr Maguire's coffin was transported on a carriage by four black horses who were wearing blue feathers above their heads

Mr Maguire's coffin was transported on a carriage by four black horses who were wearing blue feathers above their heads

Mr Maguire’s coffin was transported on a carriage by four black horses who were wearing blue feathers above their heads

A large group of people carrying the pictures of Dean Maguire while holding up signs which read 'man man' congregated at the church

A large group of people carrying the pictures of Dean Maguire while holding up signs which read 'man man' congregated at the church

A large group of people carrying the pictures of Dean Maguire while holding up signs which read ‘man man’ congregated at the church

People at the funeral gather to carry Dean Maguire's coffin

People at the funeral gather to carry Dean Maguire's coffin

People at the funeral gather to carry Dean Maguire’s coffin 

Meanwhile, flower arrangements described Mr Maguire as a ‘Daddy’, a ‘Babby’ and a ‘Mad Man’.     

Mr Maguire, Mr Freeman and Mr Taylor all died after they crashed their BMW head-on with a truck. The lorry driver was left with serious but non-life threatening injuries. 

The car, which was driven by Mr Freeman at the time of the crash, had been chased by the gardai following reports that it was driving erratically with no lights on. 

Mr Maguire carried out multiple burglaries in his life and he was described in court as being part of ‘a highly sophisticated organised crime gang’.  

Before he was killed, he was wanted by UK police after he fled Hollesley Bay open prison near the town of Woodbridge in Suffolk in 2018. 

A group of people gathered to pay tribute to Dean Maguire who was a serial burglar

A group of people gathered to pay tribute to Dean Maguire who was a serial burglar

A group of people gathered to pay tribute to Dean Maguire who was a serial burglar

In 2017, Mr Freeman was described by a judge as a ‘menace to society’ after he and other masked men threatened a 77-year-old woman before robbing her wedding ring in the middle of the night.

Mr Freeman was sentenced to five years in prison while the woman was left so terrified that she never returned to her home in Co Wicklow. 

Archbishop Dermot Farrell refused to comment on the Dean Maguire service. In a statement to Liveline, he said: ‘In a Christian funeral we commend the soul of the deceased to the mercy of God.

‘Out of respect for the family and loved ones of the deceased it would not be appropriate to publicly comment on an individual funeral ceremony.

‘Please be advised the parish is not responsible for activities outside the church.’

But in 2019, former Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin pledged that career criminals would not be allowed to use church funerals to ‘enhance their image’ and instead should have civil funerals.   

Liveline caller Michela Sheehan said: ‘I feel so sorry for any priest that finds themselves dealing with this sort of a problem.’

‘Something will have to be done, it’s alright for Dermot Martin to come out and say his statement about not glorifying criminality but then you’ve got to do something about it and put structures in place.’   



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