NewsCrime Desk

Posh killer 'person of interest' in unsolved murder of gay man in Dublin

Malcolm MacArthur
Malcolm MacArthur

Posh killer Malcolm MacArthur has been put forward as a “person of interest” in the unsolved cold case murder of a gay man that took place in south county Dublin months before he went on his killing spree.

RTE designer Charles Self was brutally stabbed to death in his Monkstown mews in 1982 after getting a taxi home with a mystery man.

The pair had become amorous during the journey home, but the man was never identified.

Gardaí have renewed appeals for information on the case after 34 years in the hopes of finding the frenzied killer who knifed the popular socialite to death.

MacArthur at the time of his arrest

An acquaintance of Self has told officers that MacArthur was a regular at Bartley Dunne’s pub, where the RTE man had been drinking on the night of his murder. It is understood that he often stayed in the area at the time.

Although no witness ever said they saw MacArthur in the pub on the night, the pal has suggested that he looked just like a photofit he saw shortly after the murder, but which has since disappeared.

Officers in Dun Laoghaire, where the case is being examined, are treating the information as “a theory” and have not yet considered MacArthur as a suspect in the case.

People of interest are those that are suggested for further investigation to officers or put forward due to similar crimes, proximity to scenes or any other links they may have had with victims.

Former Garda Cold Case boss Alan Bailey says officers should consider MacArthur given his links to the area, his capabilities as a killer and the fact he mixed in similar social circles to Self.

“The weapons and anything else that remains from the scene should certainly be sent away to see if there is any DNA,” he said.

This week the Sunday World tracked down MacArthur to ask him did he know Self or if he knew anything of his murder. But the lifer, who is on temporary release, said he could not speak to the media.

Malcom MacArthur with Nicola Tallant

Friends say MacArthur prides himself on being a “monogamous heterosexual”, despite persistent rumours that he was gay.

While he does admit that he was a regular drinker in Bartley Dunne’s, a notorious gay hangout in the 1980s, he claims he had stopped socialising there around the time Self was killed.


MacArthur (below) has told friends he has nothing to hide and would co-operate with Gardaí should they wish to question him.

“He is very sure that the only thing that ever motivated him to kill was money and nothing else,” a friend said.

Seven months after Self was brutally murdered MacArthur killed nurse Bridie Gargan while stealing her car. He drove to Offaly where he shot farmer Donal Dunne and was eventually found hiding out in the then Attorney General Patrick Connolly’s apartment in Dalkey in County Dublin.

 Bridie Gargan

His case rocked the State and became the notorious GUBU scandal. MacArthur pleaded guilty to Gargan’s murder and spent over 30 years in prison. He remains on temporary release.

The murder of Self was Ireland’s most high-profile gay murder and shone a light on an underground community of priests, professionals and married men who met for illegal sex behind closed doors.

Self was found brutally murdered on the morning of January 21, 1982, at the bottom of the stairs of the home he rented in Monkstown. He had been stabbed at least 14 times.