Cabin at centre of search for missing women

GARDAÍ investigating the crimes of convicted rapist Larry Murphy have removed the concrete base of a remote hunter’s cabin near his Wicklow home.

The search operation follows a report from a forensic scientist who told gardaí the cabin might have been used by Murphy if he had succeeded in his attempt to kill a woman before she was saved by two hunters.

In February 2000, Murphy abducted a young woman in Co Carlow and drove her to the Wicklow mountains where he repeatedly raped her.

He had bundled her into the boot of his car and intended to kill her when the hunters came across him near the cabin.

He was convicted of rape and attempted murder, serving 10 and a half years of a 15-year sentence before his release in August 2010.

Gardaí have always suspected Murphy had a remote location where he had intended to bring his victim and bury her.

The hunting cabin at Kilranelagh is 800 metres from the scene of the rape and about 7km from Murphy’s Baltinglass home.

Officers involved in Operation Trace — set up to investigate the unsolved cases of six missing women in Leinster between 1993 and 1998 — questioned him on the disappearances of three of the women: Jo Jo Dullard, Deirdre Jacob and Annie McCarrick.

However, gardaí have not been able to collect any evidence against him.

Murphy left the country after his release in 2010. Garda sources said the 46-year-old father of two was last seen in the Netherlands in December.

Gardaí yesterday confirmed the search of the cabin was linked to Operation Trace, and specifically to Murphy. The search is due to finish today.

“There is information coming in very regularly regarding Operation Trace,” a source said. “This is just one of a number of searches. The majority don’t turn up anything; some do.”

Gardaí used a JCB to remove the concrete floor of the cabin. The Garda Dog Unit and the Garda Technical Bureau are assisting the investigation, led by the Serious Crime Review Team, or cold case unit.

Barry Cummins, author of Missing and Without Trace, said people wondered where Murphy was going to bring his rape victim.

“One of the questions was what he intended to do with the body had he succeeded in murdering her, which by his own admission he had intended,” he said.

“Where was he going next with the body in the boot of the car? Where was he bringing her?”

The missing

DEIRDRE JACOB: Disappeared on July 28, 1998

JO JO DULLARD: Was last heard from on November 9, 1995

ANNIE McCARRICK: Vanished near Dublin mountains on March 26, 1993

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

In the shadow of gunmen: Unsolved shootings in Cork

Treasure trove of artifacts found under Cork street

Respiratory drug may be withdrawn

DNA database links 530 crimes to suspects


Breaking Stories

Beggar back on his feet after job offer from stranger

Simon Harris: It seems 'perverse' for IRA to say they disciplined someone over Brian Stack murder

Barrister campaigning to launch second legal challenge to Brexit - in Irish courts

Poll reveals most voters in favour of refunds for those who paid water charges

Lifestyle

Pantomime review: Cinderella, Cork Opera House

Fair City: Behind the scenes at Carrigstown

Ask Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for years

Well-known Irish people share their favourite books from their childhoods

More From The Irish Examiner