herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

hunt continues for tragic teenager raonaid's killer

Crime correspondent Ken Foy examines the notorious murder case as gardai issue a fresh plea for information

Silchester Crescent Glenageary, where Raonaid Murray was murdered in 1999
Silchester Crescent Glenageary, where Raonaid Murray was murdered in 1999

Gardai believe that "in all probability" Dublin schoolgirl Raonaid Murray was murdered by a man who was known to her.

Sources last night stressed this belief on the 15th anniversary of the 17-year-old's killing which happened less than 500 yards from her home in Glenageary on Dublin's southside.

Raonaid left work at the Sally West clothes shop in Dun Laoghaire with a friend at about 9pm on Friday, September 3, 1999, and went to Scott's pub in the to wn.

She left Scott's at about 11.20pm to change before going to a nightclub. Raonaid's house is about a 15-minute walk from the pub.

Her body was found at Silchester Cresent in Glenageary at 12.33 am on Saturday, September 4.

In a statement, gardai said they were anxious to speak to anyone who has doubts about the veracity of an alibi provided for anyone in relation to the murder.

They also pointed out that the investigation team at Dun Laoghaire and the Serious Crime Review Team are is continuing to pursue all lines of inquiry.

A garda spokesman said: "There are people out there with critical information that have not yet come forward with regards to this murder. Our appeal is for anyone that may have any information that could assist in identifying a motive for the murder of Raonaid."

flaws

Earlier this year, it emerged that cold-case detectives had finished their review of the case.

It was revealed that they had made a number of final recommendations highlighting flaws in the original investigation.

Among the problems in the early days of the investigation was the failure of investigators to collate all of the CCTV footage of Raonaid's last movements, as well as statements from local business people who handed over footage from their security cameras.

Officers now suspect Raonaid may have walked home from Dun Laoghaire on a slightly different route, but potential footage of the alternative route was never sought and would now no longer be in existence.

A garda spokesman would not comment yesterday on these revelations.

No one has ever been charged with Raonaid's murder, and the weapon, a knife, has never been recovered.

She was stabbed four times in the side, chest and shoulder.

The murderer escaped, and the teenager staggered 200 feet before she collapsed and died from her injuries.

Her body was found by her sister, Sarah, who had been out with friends.

Sarah recognised Raonaid and then saw the injuries and blood and realised she had been attacked.

One of her friends checked for a pulse but found none. Sarah ran home to alert her parents and brother.

In an interview with the Herald last year, the now deceased senior garda who led the Raonaid investigation, former Det Insp Eamon O'Reilly, criticised remarks that had been made at the inquest into her death when it was stated that there was no motive or key suspect for the murder.

Mr O' Reilly said he believed there was indeed a motive.

"I always said thank God that Raonaid was not sexually assaulted or raped, and this fact means that it was not a sexually motivated attack.

"Raonaid was not attacked for theft or robbery purposes as she had all her possessions when she was found dead on the footpath by her sister, so robbery was not a motive.

"I have never excluded jealousy, hatred, refusal of advances on her by her attacker or fear of making disclosures of facts against her attacker as possible motives for her murder.

"What I am saying is that whoever murdered Raonaid was acting in a limited scope of motive."

In another interview with the Herald, Mr O' Reilly said there had been a total of 13 arrests in the case including a local heroin addict who was known to gardai for carrying knives.

appealed

"I arrested 13 suspects in this case - roughly half of them were from the Dun Laoghaire area but arrests were also made in Galway, Tipperary and the northside of Dublin," he said.

Gardai have consistently appealed for information about a man and a woman who were seen close to the spot where Raonaid was found dead, but they have never come forward.

The man is described as having been aged in his 20s at the time, with short dark hair cropped at the sides.

He was between 5ft 10 inches and 6ft in height, of slight build, fit looking and wearing dark coloured trousers, not jeans.

The woman was in the vicinity of Silchester Park between 12.20am and 12.30am, walking towards Adelaide Road. She was between 16 and 23 years, about 5ft 6 inches in height, with shoulder-length dark hair, dark trousers and a dark top.

kfoy@herald.ie

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