Tuesday, 13 October 2020

The Case of Raonaid Murray

The body of Raonaid Murray (17) was found at Silchester Crescent, Glenageary, Dublin, less than 500 metres from her home on September 3rd, 1999.

She was returning at approximately 11.20 pm from a night out at Scotts pub in Dun Laoghaire town centre. Her intention, made known to friends by mobile phone (using her friend's device at Scotts), was to return home, change, and head out to a local nightclub around midnight.

She never got home.

She was stabbed to death near her home (about 10 minutes away) while walking up a footpath with a one-and-a-half inch knife around midnight or shortly before. Forensics revealed that she was stabbed multiple times, but many initial wounds were not fatal or intrusive and would case death, as if punishment wounds. She staggered some 15 metres before the fatal stab wounds were delivered to her side and piercing vital organs.

She bleed to death and about 20 minutes later and was discovered by her elder sister out with her friends earlier when they exited a taxi and used the same cut-through laneway to get home.

At 11.50 pm, the house phone rang in Raonaid's parents where she had been headed. Her father answered it, thinking it was his daughter. The caller immediately hung up without saying a word. The call was later traced by Gardai and telecom services to a nearby house of another friend of Raonaid's [Girl X who she met earlier that evening].

GardaĆ­ appealed to potential witnesses who have doubts about an alibi already provided in relation to the murder.

I get the confusion somewhat at the end of this documentary. I think Graham Jones is just being legally careful.

It's understandable. I found parts did drift a little too much into the open speculative area.

If you are confused, watch the docu, and go back to the evidence laid out by the taxi driver and his account of the passenger he picked up that night (early on in the film) in his car.

The Gardai know the identity of this passenger, have for many years, and where he lived at the time (1999). That is where he asked to be taken by the taxi driver on the night. [he wanted to get home before his girlfriend - taxi driver statement.]

He clearly realised the taxi driver was uneasy and that going home to Blackrock wasn't such a clever idea. So he directed the driver on a long roundabout journey but it ended up not far from his original point of departure and on the Granville Rd he thought was the correct one [his girlfriend - Girl X from the group]. When the Gardai eventually identified the man in the taxi, they knew he was known to Girl X at the time.

Girl X revealed her knowledge of Raonaid's death to another of Raonaid's friends on a phone call early the following day hours before the media released much details.

I've looked at this case for some time as a journalist. It does paint a picture of Gardai confusion and a push to solve the case, and there were strands of different scenarios, but my own understanding is that the Gardai, from a very early stage - at least Martin Donnellan's team - always believed it was not random, stemmed from rivalry and deep-rooted jealousy within the group of teenagers, and that a male and female were involved on that night, together, or one acting on the other's intentions or with significant knowledge.

Unfortunately, and tragically, a lot of these cases stumble at the last hurdle. The Gardai and investigators know likely what occurred and why, but can't compile enough forensic evidence and case to deliver to the DPP that will be signed off and go to the criminal court.

This case was a serious lesson to the Gardai that you need counselors and mediators working with teenagers and parents at an early stage. It proved to be the core element in getting convictions in the Ana KriƩgel case.

Let's hope the Murray family get justice soon. There are those out there, protecting each other, years later, who know exactly what happened that night. This charade needs to end.

[VIDEO DOCU - Rainy in Glenageary]

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