| 9.7°C Dublin

Sick abuse Revealed: Ireland's most evil parents dance in Dalkey's House of Horrors

Close

Peter Murphy and Josephine Murphy in Dalkey House of Horrors

Peter Murphy and Josephine Murphy in Dalkey House of Horrors

Peter Murphy and Josephine Murphy in Dalkey House of Horrors

This is the vile Dalkey House of Horrors couple who pimped out their children and whose infant grandchild was murdered at their hands.

Peter Snr and Josephine Murphy dance together under a crucifix in the living room of their home where a newborn baby was brutally stabbed to death with a knitting needle - and where decades of rape and abuse destroyed two generations of children.

Town hall clerk Peter embraces his wife in a rare moment of drunken affection, usually saved for the children he ruthlessly raped nightly in his filthy bedroom. Arrogant Josephine, accused of murdering the infant born to her then 11-year-old daughter Cynthia, gives two fingers to the camera.

They are beyond doubt Ireland's most-evil parents and this week gardai in Dun Laoghaire issued an appeal for help in solving the murder of their newborn grandchild, baby Noleen Murphy, whose body was found stabbed and dumped in a laneway 47 years ago.

Both Peter and Josephine went to their graves without serving time for their crimes, due to a catastrophic series of difficulties with investigations.

It was more than two decades before Cynthia, formerly Sindy Murphy, found the courage to come forward and tell officers that she was he mother of the murdered infant whose case had been shelved unsolved.

An number of investigation proceeded into allegations of abuse at the house in Dalkey and a horror story unfolded of what happened to numerous children who were brought up there.

Close

 Cynthia Owen is a survivor from the Dalkey House of Horrors

Cynthia Owen is a survivor from the Dalkey House of Horrors

Photocall Ireland

Cynthia Owen is a survivor from the Dalkey House of Horrors

Josephine died before a Coroner's Court heard that she had stabbed baby Noleen to death with knitting needles after she was born to schoolgirl Sindy. In an effort to cover-up the sexual abuse going on in the house, the court heard, she then made her way to Dun Laoghaire where she dumped her grandchild's tiny body in a green plastic bag.

A catastrophic Garda investigation in 1973 saw Noleen buried in an unmarked infants' grave at Glasnevin Cemetery, where she remains today. No blood samples or other forensics were taken at the time, which could have helped in the following decades as the secrets of the Dalkey House of Horrors started to spill out.

Gardai also lost key exhibits from the murder inquiry, including the bag, the knitting needle and a makeshift sanitary towel which Cynthia would later tell officers was ripped from a bed sheet in the house.

As the years went on, a number of files were sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions but they were repeatedly sent back with no recommendations to charge the Murphys or others named as abusers.

Josephine and Peter Murphy continued to proclaim their innocence and denied all allegations made about them.

In the meantime, a string of complaints were made about other men who were accused of ritual abuse.

By the time evidence of Noleen’s birth and horrific death in the family home was heard in 2007, Josephine Murphy had died. That court heard that Cynthia had returned home from school and given birth in an upstairs bedroom. The baby, the court heard, was snatched by Josephine and stabbed, stuffed in an oven and eventually killed with the knitting needles.

The Garda file on the Dalkey House of Horrors contains a dossier of claims.

Of the six female children raised in the Murphy house, five have said they were either abused or knew about the abuse.

One, a niece, Theresa, who was reared by her grandparents, died by suicide in 2005 but left a 32-page note detailing how she was raped, along with her brother Micheal, who was found dead more than two years after he disappeared.

Another brother, Martin, also died by suicide in the family home after telling relatives he couldn’t cope with the abuse.

Cynthia has claimed that she had a second child when she was 14 which was stillborn and buried in the back garden. She says she also sold for drink and cigarettes to a network of paedophiles by her evil parents. Peter Murphy Snr died in 2009 denying all claims that he raped Cynthia.

Don't miss Nicola Tallant's exclusive interview with Cynthia Owens, only in this week's Sunday World.

Online Editors