herald

Wednesday 12 December 2018

'No women'- rent advert for room in house shared with vile rapist Murray

Michael Murray, released after serving 13 years for rapes
Michael Murray, released after serving 13 years for rapes

A notice advertising a room at a house where a convicted rapist lives has been changed to state that no women may apply for the vacancy.

Sex offender Michael Murray (57) is currently a tenant at the south Dublin property, but the online ad does not inform tenants about their potential housemate's criminal record.

Last week, the Herald revealed that the female landlord of the property was advertising rooms online open to a single woman or single man, but not a couple.

concerns

The controversial ad has since been taken down and replaced with a new advert inviting men only. Residents of the south Dublin estate welcomed the change, but said there are still concerns about the property being located close to a girls' primary school.

"The residents association welcomes the press coverage as an example of public interest and involvement at its best. It has highlighted a very difficult and unacceptable situation," it said in a statement.

"Though the landlord has now modified her rental ad after the coverage in the Herald to exclude women as new tenants, which in itself is welcome, the very close proximity to the girls' school and the estate means the risk remains.

"The landlord needs to take responsibility for what she has control over," a spokesperson for the association said.

Murray was jailed in 1996 for raping four women and sexually assaulting two others in south Dublin during a six-day reign of terror in September 1995.

The Central Criminal Court heard that Murray carried out the attacks between September 18 and 23. At his trial, two of his victims told the court they thought they were going to die.

Murray's first rapes were carried out in Dalkey, Killiney and Monkstown, but he then began to move out of the area.

His next victim was in Rathmines, when he attacked and stabbed a girl.

After days of surveillance, he was seen returning to his mother's house and was arrested.

Murray was eventually sentenced to 18 years, but with standard remission served only 13. He was released in 2009.

Unacceptable

Eighteen months before his rape conviction, he received a four-month sentence for indecently exposing himself to a five-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy after walking into the back garden of a house in Dun Laoghaire. The landlady of the property is aware of Murray's past crimes, but refused to comment when she was approached by the Herald last week.

The residents' association has raised Murray's presence on the estate at a joint-policing committee meeting with local representatives and gardai.

"We are extremely anxious and concerned that Michael Murray is living in a rented house on the estate and have written to the landlady explaining these concerns and why it is unacceptable on so many levels," said a spokesman.

"She formerly lived in the house but has not responded to the email. The close proximity to an all-girls' school is particularly unacceptable. Advertising to unsuspecting females is also grossly negligent.

"They are entitled to all relevant information in respect of a house where there are shared bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms before committing to any rental arrangement for a bedroom in that house.

"Having regard to Michael Murray's personal, legal and rehabilitative state of affairs, placing him in the highest-category risk environment is neither in his own interest nor in the public interest".

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