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Saturday 20 September 2014

Gardai probing abusive messages posted on new Raonaid website

Stephen O'Farrell

Published 31/08/2009 | 00:00

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A recently released picture of Raonaid. A new website in memory of the teenager has been targeted with abusive messages.

GARDAI have begun an investigation after a website dedicated to murdered teenager Raonaid Murray was desecrated with vile messages.

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The website, set up as a place for friends and family to remember the 17-year-old, has received more than 43 pages of messages since going live on Friday, but a large proportion have been abusive.

The young woman's father Jim said from his home in Glenageary, south Dublin, last night that they had contacted the website administrator about the problem.

"We are aware of this and the technical person is addressing it," he told the Irish Independent.

Gardai said they had been made aware of the matter and were investigating.

Raonaid, a Leaving Certificate student and part-time shop assistant, was stabbed to death after she left Scott's pub in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, just before midnight on Friday, September 3, 1999.

Her body was found on the street close to her home at Silchester Crescent, Glenageary, by her older sister, Sarah.

Raonaid, who was the youngest of three children, would have been 27 if she had lived.

Crude

The website, which also makes a fresh appeal for information, has received over 50,000 hits in three days.

Despite the large quantity of abusive and crude notes on the page, dozens of messages of support have also been left.

"It was heartbreaking to see you on the news recently, to see that 10 years on, you are still going through so much pain," a contributor named Michelle said. "Time has not made it easier for you to bear. I admire how every year at this time, you remind the country of what happened, and you make sure that Raonaid is not forgotten.

"She was a beautiful young girl, and I am sure she would be proud of you.

"You are all in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you have the strength to keep fighting for Raonaid, to get justice for her and to keep her memory alive."

Another contributor, Michael Rooney, said: "My thoughts are with your family at this time."

In a rare public statement last week, Mr and Mrs Murray told of the last time they saw their daughter alive.

Ms Murray said she had called into a clothes store where Raonaid had been working and spent some quiet time with her.

"It's a treasured memory for me," she said.

"I really was very lucky to have this time with her. I didn't know what was going to happen."

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