Saturday 24 February 2018

'I've had nightmares, I'm living in fear'

Breda Heffernan and Fergus Black

A COMMUNITY last night spoke of the fear stalking their streets following the release of rapist Larry Murphy from prison yesterday.

Up to 100 people, many of them concerned parents, packed a local boxing club hall in west Wicklow to voice their concern and to demand details on Murphy's every single move.

"We knew where he was for the last 10 years," said one man last night. "We don't know where he is now and we want to know where he is at all times."

Last night's meeting, held in Grangecon boxing club in Wicklow, was organised by local Sinn Fein representatives who said they had taken action because no one else would.

Although the hall was packed many of those present were journalists.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said that the last few weeks had been a nightmare knowing that Murphy, who was from the Baltinglass area, was due to be released.

"I have had nightmares thinking about him and I couldn't sleep last night," she said. "I'm living in fear. I am 31 years of age and I feel I need a chaperone to go out at night. It's really, really frightening."

Billy Walsh, a parent of two daughters from Murphy's home town of Baltinglass, said there was a lot of fear that the rapist would come back to the area.

Meanwhile, Murphy's brother Tom last night slammed his sibling for failing to have the "decency" to apologise to his victim.

He said neither he nor his three sisters will be allowing him into their homes.

Despite several visits to Arbour Hill prison over the years to ask his brother why he committed his crimes, Tom said Murphy was never "man enough" to answer his questions.

"He hadn't even the manners this morning or the decency when he come outside that prison gate to say sorry to the poor girl," he said.

He said the last time he spoke to his brother was in 2005 following the death of their father.

Asked if he still loved his brother, he replied: "No. I want nothing to do with him ever again . . . I don't want to see him and I don't want to hear from him."

Tom said that his three sisters, two of whom live in Co Kildare and the third who lives in Baltinglass, had contacted him yesterday to say Murphy will not be staying with them.

He said that following the intense media coverage of the case and alarm among the locals that Larry Murphy might return, he and his family have been "prisoners in our own homes".

Irish Independent

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