GARDAI have quashed rumours that evil rapist Larry Murphy is hiding out in an affluent north Dublin suburb.
Rumours were rife among locals in Malahide that the convicted rapist was being housed in a B&B close to the castle.
But gardai have confirmed that he is not currently in Malahide, adding that they cannot give information on where he is.
Local TD, Darragh O'Brien (FF), said: "This has been confirmed at a senior level in An Garda Siochana. The local Garda station has been inundated with calls from residents and they too have confirmed to me that this individual is not staying in Malahide or indeed anywhere close to the town."
Locals had feared that Murphy (45) was staying at Malahide House, but the owner of the B&B was shocked yesterday about how the rumours started.
Rosemary Hetherton told the Herald: "Unreservedly no, he's not here and he never will be. There's no truth in it whatsoever."
"I have never seen him and I don't want to see him. I think he must have been sighted locally and they pinned this guesthouse with it," she added.
An garda spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the reports of the whereabouts of Murphy.
Meanwhile, there were also rumours circulating that Murphy was living in an apartment in the Grange Rath complex on the outskirts of Drogheda.
Locals there confirmed to the Herald that they had heard the rumours, but that there had been no sightings of him and no increased garda activity.
Another rumour which had been circulating was that Murphy was spotted in The Black Bull pub in the town at the weekend, but this was strenuously denied by management at the pub today.
Despite attempts by officials to allay public fears, the rumour mill proved powerful yesterday in Malahide.
One local woman said: "I am completely freaked. He's not tagged or anything."
Murphy was released from prison last month after serving 10 years of a 15-year sentence for the rape, kidnapping and attempted murder of a businesswoman.
Malahide's local representative Cllr Eoghan O'Brien (FF) said emphatically yesterday that "there's no truth" behind the rumours.
"He's not there and he never was. I can't tell you what his movements are going to be but it's obviously just a rumour."
Following intensive publicity and public reaction to his release, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern intervened to urge that the Probation Service and gardai to do their utmost to persuade Murphy to engage with a rehabilitation programme.
He was at a secret location today provided by the Probation Service.