Tuesday 20 March 2018

Former lord mayor accused of sex assault on teenage girl

John Murray: at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Cork Courts
John Murray: at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Cork Courts
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A TEEN wept as she claimed a former lord mayor of Cork sexually assaulted her after telling her she was a very beautiful girl and he would "love to f*** her".

Former Cork City Council member John Murray (81) denies six counts of sexually assaulting the girl who was in her early teens when the first incident is alleged to have occurred.

The revelations came on the opening day of the Circuit Criminal Court trial of Mr Murray who served as lord mayor of Cork from 1993/94.

Mr Murray, of Gregg Road, Cork, vehemently denies all the charges which relate to various dates between 1996 and 1998.

The charges are all brought contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Law Rape (Amendment) Act 1990.

The complainant, who cannot be identified, claimed the incidents occurred in Mr Murray's car, in a pub toilet and at another address.

On some occasions, she said he groped her by rubbing her breasts and vagina outside her clothing while attempting to kiss her. However, on two occasions she claimed he pushed his hand under her clothing, inside her underwear and penetrated her with his finger.

After one incident, she was left sore and bleeding by the "very rough" treatment.

She claimed that on two occasions, while sexually assaulting her with one hand, he rubbed his other hand on his groin. On one occasion, she said he had opened his trousers and taken out his penis.

"I was very upset. This was not something that I had ever experienced. I was frozen with fear," she said.


The complainant sobbed as she recalled one incident. "(He said) you are a very beautiful girl . . . he whispered into my ear, 'I'd love to f*** you'," she added.

Dermot Sheehan BL, for the State, said during one incident Mr Murray "was moaning and she was very afraid . . . she was shocked and frightened".

The retired politician operated a successful taxi business and was involved in Cork politics throughout his life.

He became one of the most senior members of the Labour Party in Cork and the highlight of his career was when he became lord mayor. During his mayoral term, Mr Murray represented Cork in the US during the 1994 World Cup finals.

He was first elected to the then-Cork Corporation in 1985 having failed to win a seat in the 1979 local government elections. He was re-elected in 1991 but, despite a high profile term as lord mayor, lost his seat at the 1999 election.

Throughout his 14-year political career, he represented Cork's South Central Ward.

The trial, which is expected to last three days, continues before Judge Sean O Donnabhain and a jury of seven men and five women today.

Irish Independent

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