A PRIEST who attended the funeral of Dean Maguire, one of the three men killed in a road collision on the N7 last week, has hit out at organisers for glorifying the man's criminal past.
Maguire, 29, was killed alongside his friends Graham Taylor, 31, and Carl Freeman, 26, when the car they were travelling in crashed into a truck.
Taylor was laid to rest over the weekend while Freeman’s funeral took place in Jobstown yesterday.
The men, who had over 200 convictions between them, were part of a notorious criminal gang, and had purposely driven down the wrong side of the road to evade captured by gardaí.
It's understood that prior to Maguire's funeral service, mourners blocked off roads and intimidated locals on the way to St Mary’s Priory church in Tallaght on Friday.
Father-of-two Maguire had spent his entire adult life in crime, and his friends and family 'honoured' him with a banner which read: 'You know the score, get on the floor, don't be funny, show me the money'.
Relatives also ominously placed a screwdriver next to his coffin during the service.
Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTÉ’s Liveline, Fr Donal Roche, who was present at the funeral of Maguire but not officiating, condemned the service's glorification of criminality.
"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 said.
Fr Roche said that gardaí were called as the number of mourners present was far exceeding the legal limit, but officers insisted that a garda presence would only exacerbate the tension of the situation.
He said he locked the church doors when numbers inside reached 50, but when he turned his back, someone had opened them back up to let more people in.
"I was very much focused on keeping that church door locked," Fr Roche stressed.
"And the thing that was most difficult for me was during the hour that the mass was on, loads of people wanted to leave and every time someone would leave more wanted to come in.
"And some of the people that wanted to leave were just picking up something and wanted to come back."
Asked if he was frightened at any stage, he said: "A little bit. I was to be honest. I didn’t feel in that much danger... but I did wonder, am I going to get a belt here?"