No motive and no prime suspect have ever been identified for the murder of 17-year-old Raonaid Murray in south Dublin 20 years ago – but gardaí believe people out there may be “shielding the killer”.
Detectives have urged people who were teenagers at the time, but may be parents now with children of their own close to Raonaid's age, to “reflect” on the secrets they have held onto and seize the opportunity to come forward.
In a colossal investigation, gardaí have examined nearly 200 possible suspects and arrested 11 people for her murder, with a further three people questioned for withholding information about the killing.
On the 20th anniversary of her murder, on September 4, 1999, Raonaid's father Jim said that at the time there were sightings of various people in the area, but that some of these had never come forward.
He called on them, and anyone with information, to now do so.
To her killer, he said: “Come out of the shadows and own up to what you have done. Do the right thing and confess your crime.”
Raonaid was set upon along Silchester Crescent in Glenageary at around 12.30am on Saturday 4 September.
She was walking home at the time and was less than 500 yards from her house when she was fatally attacked.
She had been last seen alive at around 11.20pm on Friday 3 September as she made her way home from Dún Laoghaire town centre.
A Garda statement said the organisation remained “fully committed” to the investigation into the murder and that a full-time incident room remained in situ at Dun Laoghaire Garda Station.
The statement made this direct appeal to those people, who now have families of their own, who have been harbouring information.
“Many who were then Raonaid's age are now parents themselves with children, some of which would now be close to Raonaid's age, and we would ask them to reflect now, with the benefit of maturity and hindsight on any information which may be of assistance to the investigation,” the statement said.
On the progress of the investigation, it said: “Despite a large number of suspects having been identified during the course of this investigation, there is, in reality, no prime suspect.
"The lack of a prime suspect arises from the fact that there has been no motive identified in this case.
Nearly 200 suspects have been identified and examined by detectives, resulting in a total of 14 arrests, 11 for the murder of Raonaid and a further three for withholding information in relation to her murder.
The statement said: “If any person has any information which could assist in identifying a motive for the murder of Raonaid and/or if any person has any doubts about the veracity of an alibi already provided, we would appeal for your immediate assistance. You may be unknowingly shielding a killer.”
It said solving this murder was of the “utmost priority” for the organisation and that any information received would be treated in confidence.
It said fortnightly conferences continue to be held and that a full review of the investigation had been conducted by the Serious Crime Review Team, attached to the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
This had broken down sections of the investigation into different modules: forensics and exhibits; 'jobs', or inquiries; suspects; CCTV; composite sketches and photo fits; house to house inquiries.