NewsInvestigations

Plush apartment complex residents horrified by sex beast next door

InvestigationsBy Eamon Dillon
Michael Murray
Michael Murray

SICK serial rapist Michael Murray spent Christmas holed up in a luxury apartment, calling on fellow residents who had no idea of his twisted past.

Murray celebrated Christmas and New Year’s in the €1,600-a-month two-bed apartment in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains.

He accosted several of his neighbours, including women, in the complex, which is close to remote areas popular with walkers. 

Since his release from prison in 2009, after serving 13 years for a series of rapes in a horrifying crime spree, Murray has lived a nomadic existence.

As soon as neighbours discover his true identity he quickly moves on to new accommodation, paid for by the taxpayer, to escape his notoriety.

Residents at Ticknock Hill were horrified when over Christmas they learned the true identity of their new neighbour on the top floor.

“He knocked on one couple’s door on St Stephen’s Night telling them he had no heat. He seemed to be a bit worse for wear from whiskey, but was invited to have a coffee,” a resident told the Sunday World.

“Eventually they felt something was a little off and got him to leave by offering to show him how the heating system works.

“When the penny dropped who the man really was they were absolutely horrified. He had been banging on a couple of doors looking for things, really banging, which left residents a bit worried.”

Another resident said he approached a woman with a child in a buggy and engaged the woman, who had no idea of his background, in a casual chat. 

He spent his days causally strolling to a nearby supermarket and also turned up at a bookies office in Ballinteer.

When Murray discovered his new neighbours knew about his sordid past he spent his last night in the apartment – which has panoramic views of Dublin – with the curtains shut and lights off.

Residents contacted the complex’s management firm asking for him to be kicked out, one resident told the Sunday World this week.

A number of women and children live in the seven-apartment complex where Murray was staying.

Sources believe he has since been helped by social services to move to another location in south Dublin.

He had previously been living in the Rathfarnham area until concerned residents raised objections and he moved on again.

In the summer of 2015 it was discovered he had been living close to the campus of University College Dublin.

The 48-year-old was spotted enjoying walks on the leafy campus and even took time out to sunbathe topless as students passed by.

Until then Murray had successfully managed to avoid the gaze of the media for nearly four years, after his failed legal bid to get a court injunction to stop newspapers publishing his picture.

It was reported that he spent time in the company of another convicted sex offender who had assaulted a minor.

Murray has previously made attempts to disguise his appearance by growing a beard, shaving his head and wearing glasses and a hat.

He previously lived in Ballsbridge for more than a year and in the north inner city, after his release from jail in 2009.

Murray was jailed in 1996 for raping four women and sexually assaulting two others in south Dublin during a six-day reign of terror in September 1995.

Eighteen months before his conviction, Murray got a four-month sentence for indecently exposing himself to a five-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy in the back garden of a Dun Laoghaire house.

During his trial, two of his victims, who were forced to recall their ordeal, told the court they had thought they were going to die.

The first sex attacks took place in Dalkey, Killiney and Monkstown, but he then began to move further afield as Gardaí began to hunt for the sex fiend.

His next victim was in Rathmines, where he attacked and stabbed a girl.

After days of surveillance he was arrested when spotted returning to his mother’s house.

Murray was sentenced to 18 years in jail for the litany of attacks, but with remission he was released after 13 years.

Senior detectives expressed their concern that he was free to prowl the streets when he was released in 2009.

Unlike many other jurisdictions in Europe, sex-offenders considered to be dangerous are not required to wear electronic tags to keep track of their movements.