| 5.9°C Dublin

Serial rapist’s job as hospital gardener is approved by HSE

Serial rapist Michael Murray has been given a HSE approved job at a Dublin hospital.

Murray, described as a danger to women, works in the gardens of St Mary's Hospital in the Phoenix Park.

And the move has the full approval of the HSE, the Herald has learned.

Murray (49) raped six women in six days and was released from prison last August -- five years early from an 18-year sentence.

He was also convicted of indecently exposing himself to two young children. Garda Assistant Commissioner (rtd) Martin Donnellan described him as one of the most dangerous men he had ever encountered.

Murray moved out of Metropolitan Apartments in Inchicore this week when residents feared for their safety. Gardai fear he will strike again.

Residents claimed they had been informed that references regarding Murray's rental agreement had been supplied by the Health Services Executive and St Mary's Hospital.

The HSE appeared to wash its hands of the situation, by first insisting Murray was not an employee, and then saying that it was the responsibility of other Government agencies.

A HSE spokesman, asked by the Herald to clarify whether Murray was an employee, stated: "Michael Murray is not an employee of the HSE. However, the Occupational Therapy Service, in conjunction with the Probation Service, provide gardening services at St Mary's.

"The individual you refer to was taken on as a volunteer and works two mornings per week under supervision in the gardens."

It is understood that St Mary's Hospital provides a wide range of care services, mainly for elderly people.

Murray left his new Dublin accommodation "of his own accord" after complaints from local residents when his criminal record for rapes and indecent exposure was revealed.

A van containing his possessions drove away from the Metropolitian Apartments complex on Inchicore Road yesterday.

A letting agent representative said an agreement for the renting of the apartment had been entered into without the details of Murray's criminal past being revealed.

But after residents made these matters known, action was taken immediately which resulted in Murray leaving the apartment "of his own accord," said Mr Mick Kennedy, director of letting with Sherry Fitzgerald agents.

Mr Kennedy said Murray moved fully into the complex only last weekend although the accommodation agreement had been made some time before that. He said that the details of the agreement were confidential.


And he confirmed that the agreement was no different to any other such rental agreement.

Therefore, the usual criteria was adhered to in that references were submitted to the company and these references were checked out.

The references included a previous landlord reference. Also, passport details and bank account details were supplied as normal.

Mr Kennedy refused to comment on the identity of who supplied references.

The provision of accommodation for Murray indicated that his references did, indeed, check out as acceptable.

"We had absolutely no idea about this man's past," he said.

"I understand that, in the UK, people have a right to be notified if there is a sex offender in their community. I believe that estate agents and landlords in Ireland would want to know such information.

"Surely, such people who are responsible for these matters should be informed about a person's past," he said.

He said that while all references are cross-checked, it would not be practical to make queries with the gardai about every single letting of accommodation.

Residents said they had learned that Murray had rented a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor. They said they also heard claims that rental payments on his apartment were 'guaranteed' for two years.

The Herald tracked down Murray, originally from Stillorgan, to his home at Metropolitan Apartments, where outraged neighbours have posted flyers warning of his presence.

When confronted, Murray refused to answer any questions and quickly closed the door of his flat. It was confirmed that he moved out of the apartment yesterday morning.

Residents had declared they were thinking of moving out because of fears for their own safety. "We got leaflets through the letter-boxes earlier in the week telling us about this guy Murray," said one couple.

But there was general relief last night when they learned that Murray had moved out.