Thursday 19 April 2018

Women living in fear of his return

Nicola Anderson

NOVICE kayakers dip their paddles into the waters of the River Slaney as two women walk energetically along the footpath.

"Welcome to Baltinglass, home of the All-Ireland club championships 1990," reads the sign.

But people in Baltinglass are afraid, desperately so. With one of the most dangerous rapists on record perhaps just hours away from his homecoming, to say that he is unwelcome here would be an understatement.

At the local garda station, Crimebusters posters in relation to the disappearance of Jo Jo Dullard in 1995, Ciara Breen in 1997 and Annie McCarrick in 1993 still hang.

Inspector Gerry Connolly admitted gardai do not know Larry Murphy's plans.

Once he is released, Murphy has seven days to report to any district or divisional headquarters to tell them where he is staying. He can do it in person -- or by post.

At a monument in the centre of town, local woman Claire Foster, sitting with her children, admits that she is frightened -- and says every woman she knows in Baltinglass is too.

"He isn't giving the gardai any info about where he is going to live -- but he should have to tell them," she said.

Another woman, who wishes only to be known as 'Catherine', says: "I'd be afraid to say what the reaction to him would be if he came back."

Local Fine Gael TD Billy Timmins pointed out that Murphy had only served two-thirds of his sentence and was being released on "good behaviour" -- despite refusing rehabilitation treatment.

Sitting in her car in the middle of town, one young woman admits: "I wouldn't go for walks on my own like I have always done and I would even be worried getting into my car early in the morning."

Irish Independent

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