Larry Murphy is a free man. After his release yesterday, he is free to do whatever he wants.
Maybe he can start a new life abroad? How nice for him. With his new passport it would seem he can travel wherever he wants.
My friend Annie McCarrick however, will never travel again. I am still haunted by the memory of her tragic disappearance. Rarely a day goes by when I wonder where in the name of God she is buried.
What fate became that smiling, enthusiastic New York waitress? Where is her body? Where is her dignity? Why can her evil killer not let her parents have a funeral to finally get closure?
I still live in Donnybrook were we both worked. And every day I walk past the restaurant where I last saw Annie, unanswered questions still hanging menacingly in the air.
The release of rapist Murphy, yesterday filled me with horror. It beggars belief that somebody who refused therapy in jail for his horrendous crime is now free to walk the streets. He is the prime suspect in poor Annie's disappearance and those of other girls who disappeared around the same time.
Annie, an only child, was no shrinking violet. I remember her having a bust-up with one of the chefs over a customer order and taking him down to size.
She was a tall, broad girl with a bright smile. She worked very long hours but she was good fun. She would wear thick granny tights and her curly unruly hair was usually tied back in a messy ponytail.
Annie was a confident New Yorker but she was naive at the same time. She would often walk home from her shift, which sometimes ended at 3am, all alone.
I would never have done that. I never felt safe walking around Donnybrook at night. I always got a taxi home.
There are always sinister individuals around but we don't know who they are. At least we know what Murphy looks like.
Every woman should memorise his photo. I felt ill looking at Murphy's unrepenting face as he walked from jail yesterday.
I wondered what that Carlow businesswoman who nearly perished at his hands in the Wicklow mountains, must have been feeling.
How can she even bear to go into a shop, see his face on the front of every paper and relive that horrific night of terror?
Maybe she has children herself now who know nothing about her terrible ordeal.
How can she happily move on with her life knowing that the man who tried to kill her could bump into her in a supermarket or on the street?
When will he strike again?
Annie loved Ireland. She felt safe here but paid the ultimate price for her naivety -- with her life.
She always told me the reason she came here was because Ireland was safer than New York.
But since the release of Murphy yesterday, I know I'd feel much safer in New York.
Even Murphy's own brother Tom has said it's likely he will re-offend. His ex wife has fled her family home in fear. If Larry Murphy decides to go to England, as he is probably intending on doing, it just means that we have conveniently exported our most unwanted citizen.
But if he strikes again, just remember this, Dermot Ahern, it's because our pathetic laws allowed it. It's all very well saying you can do nothing about this. Shame on you.