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Outrage as Tubridy floats idea of Murphy interview

RYAN Tubridy today refused to rule out interviewing rapist Larry Murphy on the Late Late.

Tubridy had said he would allow the serial killer suspect on the RTE show.

Fine Gael’s justice spokesman Charlie Flanagan said it would be a disgrace if RTE allowed Murphy on air.

The possibility of an appearance by the rapist was also criticised by the Rape Crisis Centre.

The Rape Crisis Centre said it would be inappropriate to interview Larry Murphy on the Late Late Show -- urging the show to be "mindful" of the victims.

Mr Flanagan insisted that Larry Murphy should not be given the chance to "address the nation" in any interview with Ryan Tubridy.

"It would be very much against the public interest to have a criminal like Larry Murphy given the status of going on a nationwide chat show.

"Murphy should engage with the treatment services and probation and welfare services instead of engaging with Ryan Tubridy. There is something insidious in affording criminals, ex-cons, or high risk individuals the chance to speak to the nation."

Rape Crisis Centre CEO Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop said that victims of sexual assault need to be considered first and foremost.

"This particular case is much too sensitive at the moment," she said. "I suppose the Late Late Show has always been a show that has helped inform society. A serial paedophile was interviewed on the show before.

"But I think those kinds of interviews must be considered very carefully," she said. "We have to be mindful of the victims. I do think we need to be terribly respectful around the area of interviewing rapists or paedophiles. We absolutely have to keep our minds and focused on the victims."

Tubridy had said while he may not like interviewing the monster, he would do it. Last night the RTE presenter tried to clarify the issue by saying only that there were "no plans" to bring Murphy on the television -- but refused to rule it out.

The storm grew when Tubridy was quoted as saying: "It's not up to me if Larry Murphy comes on the show.

"However, if he's put before me on the show, will I interview him? Of course I will -- and I'll give him a very thorough interview."

He added: "But will I enjoy the experience? That's highly unlikely. The Late Late Show has been known for its controversy and I don't know who might turn up."

The freed sex attacker has gone into hiding since his release from Arbour Hill prison earlier in the month after serving a 10-year jail term for the repeated rape of a Carlow businesswoman.

An appearance by Murphy would have meant 500,000 people watching the rapist on a Friday night.

"I won't shy away from extremely tough challenges," Tubridy said.

But on his new radio show this morning, he said he would be "shocked" if Murphy would be sitting in the studio.

"I think it's pretty safe to say he won't be a guest on the Late Late show and I'd be shocked if he was," is all he would say.

However, Ryan did not say whether his team had sought an interview with Murphy or whether he would refuse to conduct such an interview.

Mr Tubridy could not be reached this morning for a comment. An RTE spokeswoman told the Herald she would not speculate on what guests the Late Late Show would or would not have on.

She did not comment when asked whether Murphy would be a suitable guest for the programme.

hnews@herald.ie