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Now MacArthur demands new ID after he is freed

MALCOLM MACARTHUR has demanded protection so he can start a new life as a free man.

The brutal double-killer returned to jail following his three-day release but told the Herald that he needed a new identity when he does get out.

MacArthur, who battered nurse Bridie Gargan to death with a lump hammer as she sunbathed in the Phoenix Park, will be released permanently before Christmas.

Today, in an interview with the Herald, MacArthur explained: "I'm trying to start a new life."

We photographed MacArthur in Templegrainey, Co Wickow, at 6.15pm yesterday after he got off a bus and waited for a lift back to the nearby Shelton Abbey Open Prison.


MacArthur has been locked up since shortly after he bludgeoned Nurse Gargan (27) to death in 1982, before shooting Offaly farmer Donal Dunne in the head three days later.

The notorious killer, who was given three days temporary release and is due to be freed permanently in a few weeks, told us: "All these people here will know me now and wonder why you are photographing me.

"There are certain establishments I like to frequent that I don't wish to be known in, and I'm afraid now I have to hide my identity when I'm around and that worries me."

He then made a bizarre allegation against gardai claiming: "Somebody in the guards leaked the information that I was out, and they're to blame for the situation I'm in now. They'll have to do something about my further situation.

"I respect that you have your job to do but I can't make it easy for you, I'm trying to be anonymous and I don't want people to know what I look like now." MacArthur then went in to a local Gala shop to call the prison service explaining: "I have to go in here now to make a phone call to get a lift back to the prison".

Our photographer Kyran O' Brien offered MacArthur his mobile phone to make the call but he looked blankly at it. After making the call in the store, MacArthur remained in the shop and then came out with his head in his hands before getting into the prison van.

MacArthur was non-threatening and portrayed an upper-class air throughout the conversation.

Yesterday the brother of tragic Bridie Gargan broke his silence about the twisted killer's imminent release.

Christopher Gargan (43) revealed that his five brothers and sisters still discuss the impact of the crime.

"Who knows what he is capable of?" Mr Gargan said. "In this country they don't serve life, for a life. He should serve for the rest of his life."

But he said that the family could be grateful that "at least" MacArthur served 29 years behind bars.

Mr Gargan was only 14 at the time of his sister's murder but still remembers her fondly."I still remember her; she was a young, bubbly woman," he said.

He said he was not given much notice about MacArthur's release, but he knew the day would come.


"I have nothing to say to him," Mr Gargan said when asked if had any words for MacArthur.

After his murder spree, MacArthur's eventual apprehension by gardai in a Dalkey apartment owned by the then Attorney General Patrick Connolly resulted in Conor Cruise O'Brien coining the acronym GUBU (grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented).

At the weekend, MacArthur, who has been at the open prison Shelton Abbey in Co Wicklow, travelled to Dun Laoghaire where he was staying with a family member.