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Saturday 25 February 2017

Row 'like a slap in the face' for victim of abuser

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

John Murray
John Murray

The granddaughter of a former Lord Mayor of Cork admitted that sections of her family feel "relief" that the man who abused her has finally died.

Elaine Murray spoke for the first time after a row over a message of sympathy, conveyed by the brother of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, at the death of John Murray (85).

Ms Murray (33) waived her anonymity as she told how the abuse she suffered at the hands of the veteran Labour Party councillor had split her family apart. She said the row within Cork City Council was like "a slap in the face".

Following Mr Murray's death, Cllr Sean Martin proposed a vote of sympathy to the entire Murray family. It was passed despite one councillor, Chris O'Leary, expressing his concern.

Cllr Martin rejected suggestions that the sympathy in any way minimised or condoned what Murray himself had done.

"What he did was wrong. But there is hurt on all sides here," he said. "His family have suffered through this as well."

But Ms Murray said: "I want the people of Cork to know that I am his granddaughter."

She said she was "very, very disappointed" at a renewed controversy over Mr Murray, who was jailed in 2013 after being convicted of abusing her.

"There has been such a divide in our family, that for other members of the family this is a relief. It is a relief that he is gone," she added.

Mr Murray died last Saturday in Marymount Hospice after a long illness. His Requiem Mass and funeral was held yesterday in The Lough. After his 2013 conviction, Ms Murray had to contact Cork City Council to request that a portrait of her grandfather be removed from a public gallery in City Hall.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said his brother never had any intention of causing offence.

Mr Martin said he spoke to his brother Sean yesterday, who he said "regrets the outcry" caused by the actions.

Irish Independent

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