Tuesday 20 March 2018

Brave Emma Murphy previously harassed by 'Love/Hate' actor

Robert Walsh
Model Emma Murphy

Eimear Cotter

A young mother who has spoken out about being a victim of domestic abuse was previously harassed by a star from the hit television show 'Love/Hate'.

Former actor in the gangland drama Robert Walsh (aged 32 at the time) bombarded the model and dancer with nuisance phone calls, a court previously heard.

Walsh, who appeared as hitman Jimmy Byrne in the first series of the show, made a total of 35 calls to Ms Murphy's private mobile phone over a four-week period in 2012, leaving her afraid to leave her house or go to work.

The court sitting in July of 2013 heard that Ms Murphy also excluded herself from the social scene she was involved in, as she was concerned that the caller knew a lot of her personal details.

Robert Walsh in 'Love/Hate'
Robert Walsh in 'Love/Hate'

The defendant, of Abbeyvale Avenue in Swords, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to a charge of harassment.

Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan said that between June 24 and July 22 in 2012 Ms Murphy received a total of 35 calls from a blocked phone number, with 12 calls coming on the night of July 12, 2012.

Sgt Callaghan said that the caller did not say anything, but Ms Murphy was aware that there was someone on the other end of the line.

The sergeant said Ms Murphy reported the harassment to gardai in Finglas, and told them she suspected Walsh, her former dance teacher, was the culprit.

Sgt Callaghan said that gardai later seized the defendant's mobile phone and had it analysed, which confirmed that the calls were made from his phone.

The court heard that Walsh has never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Terence Hanahoe said that Walsh, a former soldier, was unemployed and living at home with his parents.

In relation to the harassment, Mr Hanahoe said that Walsh was going through a difficult time and was drinking heavily.

He said it was 'silly' of Walsh to have been ringing Ms Murphy. The solicitor said that he believed Walsh needed some kind of assistance and would benefit from working with the probation services.

Judge McHugh said at the time that he imagined the incident was quite frightening for Ms Murphy.

Walsh starred in the first series of 'Love/Hate' alongside Robert Sheehan, who played troubled assassin Darren. During the series, his character was accused of blasting Darren's brother Robbie.

Gardaí are now investigating an alleged assault on Ms Murphy who has been widely praised for 'outing' her former partner as her attacker in an emotional Facebook video. 

The assault on the young motherfrom Ballymun is alleged to have happened at a gym on the northside of Dublin.

Sources have disclosed that officers in Santry Garda Station are investigating the alleged assault after the victim made a complaint about the incident on Friday.

But gardaí have not yet interviewed or arrested the man who is at the centre of the complaint.

The Women's Aid freephone helpline is 1800 341900.

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