William T Cosgrave's grave vandalised in Goldenbridge

Article Posted: Tuesday 21st October, 2014

The grave of William T Cosgrave, the first head of an independent Irish government, has been desecrated in a Dublin cemetery.

Mr Cosgrave, the father of former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, is buried at Goldenbridge in Inchicore.

The desecration is believed to have happened last night and damage to the grave has been described as "significant".

The grave is marked by a Celtic cross, the top of which has been broken off.

Other damage was caused to the area around the grave, and damage was also caused to other graves.

The incident comes as a new book on Mr Cosgrave's life is to be launched by the Taoiseach this evening.

Mr Cosgrave was president of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State and was a supporter of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

He succeeded Michael Collins as Chairman of the Provisional Government and as minister for finance in 1922.

His later tenure in government saw the establishment of the ESB and An Garda Síochána but he was not a popular figure, as the divisive legacy of the treaty had taken hold in Irish politics.

He died in 1965 and was buried at Goldenbridge, one of the first Catholic cemeteries established after Catholic emancipation.

The damage to the grave is being assessed by the Glasnevin Trust, which is in charge of the Goldenbridge site.