Prestigious schools send out warning letters over serial rapist
Two prestigious south Dublin schools have sent letters to the homes of their students, warning them that serial rapist Michael Murray has been spotted in the area.
The prominent and well-respected primary and secondary girls schools issued the letters this week, urging the students to remain vigilant, after concerned locals had raised the issue of the serial sex offender being seen in the locality.
In recent weeks, Murray was photographed strolling around the leafy south Dublin location.
One of the letters states that it has come to the school's attention that a "convicted sex offender is living in the area".
It continues: "We are liaising with the gardaí, who are monitoring the individual on a regular basis as part of the sex-offenders management programme.
"We are given to understand that he has served a prison sentence but has not re-offended in the seven years since leaving prison. Gardaí stress that he is not a paedophile but advise extra care and vigilance on everyone's part."
The letter says that discussions with local representatives suggest that the man will be encouraged to move from the area in the near future. The school adds that it will keep parents updated when more information is available.
Murray was jailed in 1996 for raping four women and sexually assaulting two others in south Dublin during a six-day reign of terror in September 1995.
The Central Criminal Court heard two of his victims reveal that they thought they were going to die.
Murray's first rapes took place in Dalkey, Killiney and Monkstown, but he then began to offend outside the area.
His next victim was in Rathmines, where he attacked and stabbed a girl.
After days of surveillance, he was seen returning to his mother's house and was arrested.
Murray was eventually sentenced to 18 years, but with standard remission he served only 13 and was released in 2009.
Eighteen months before his rape conviction, Murray received a four-month sentence for indecently exposing himself to a five-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy after walking into the back garden of a house in Dún Laoghaire.
His previous crimes therefore make him a potential threat to children and women.
People who are living close to the schools that issued the letters contacted the Irish Independent this week to say they had serious concerns about his presence in the area.
"There are young mothers that use the local parks for jogging and recreation and there are students of the schools, and their parents, who are now seriously concerned," said one local resident.
The Irish Independent approached Murray (57) four weeks ago in the Dublin 4 area after he had been spotted out and about, strolling through the leafy suburbs of University College Dublin, Donnybrook and Mount Merrion.
The sex offender shrugged off the concerns of female students, who were concerned about his presence on the grounds of the college, when their fears were put to him.
People aware of his past contacted this newspaper not only to express their unease about Murray being in the area but also to alert others, who have no knowledge of his previous crimes.
When approached, Murray looked fit, healthy and strong and was casually dressed, wearing jeans, trainers and a dark quilted jacket.