Saturday 19 August 2017

Kevin Myers: At large: What Larry Murphy's freedom tells us about our laws

AS TV3 revealed the other night, the convicted rapist and suspected serial killer Larry Murphy is at large in Amsterdam, free to move wherever he wants, courtesy of the passport recently reissued to him by the Department of Foreign Affairs. But why is there no outcry over this?

He is a far greater danger to women than the HSE, our Constitution or Dail Eireann. But of course, he is not at the conjunction of the Catholic Church, sexual ethics, feminist politics and the health service, and so his continued freedom seems to arouse little or no public wrath. In fact, it is a far greater indictment of how our legal system works than the tragic events in Galway: because he went through that system, and, with three years of his 15-year sentence still to go, he is nonetheless lawfully free. This is perfectly monstrous.

Indeed, everything about the career of Larry Murphy is monstrous, from the disappearance of half a dozen women in the Wicklow-Carlow area, which went effectively uninvestigated for years, to his conviction for rape, and the sentence that followed. It doesn't take the imagination of a John Grisham to see how Murphy could have been charged so as to vastly maximise the sentences for his crimes against a young woman whom he abducted in Carlow one February night in 2000.

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