"The time is always right to do what is right."
-Martin Luther King
It was the 3rd of September 1999. A Friday. Seventeen year old Raonaid Murray lived with her parents Jim and Deirdre Murray in Glenageary, Dublin, Ireland. She had an older brother called Daniel and an older sister Sarah. Everyone in the family adored Raonaid.
That day, the 3rd of September, Raonaid was working at the Sally West boutique in Dún Laoghaire shopping centre. Raonaid worked there part time. With plans to become a professional writer, Raonaid was due to resit the Leaving Certificate as she hoped to study Arts in University College Dublin. She loved poetry and reading. Her work shift was due to finish at 9pm that night but it was around 9.40pm when she left the shopping centre and crossed George's Street to meet friends in Scott's pub.
CCTV of Raonaid Murray holding bag leaving shopping centre with a friend
It was a normal and busy Friday night in Scott's pub. Raonaid was there for more then an hour. There was a great atmosphere around the place and Raonaid decided to head home after a few drinks to change her clothes before going to a nearby nightclub.
Raonaid was last seen at 11.26pm heading home from Dun Laoghaire town centre. Earlier that day, Raonaid bought a new outfit and she wanted to wear it that night. The plan was to meet a few friends and they would head to Paparazzi's nightclub. The walk from the town centre to Raonaid's home at Silchester Park should have taken Raonaid around fifteen to twenty minutes but Raonaid never made it home that night.
Raonaid as a child
One of Raonaid's friends waited for her to return but she didn't. She called the house phone but Jim answered and the friend hung up. In the early hours of the next morning, the 4th of September, at 12.33am, Raonaid's sister and friends were walking through the laneway at Silchester Crescent in Glenageary when they saw something on the ground. It was Raonaid. She had been brutally murdered just five hundred yards from her home. She was still holding the bag with her new outfit in it.
The laneway at Silchester Crescent
Raonaid was the victim of a savage and frenzied attack. She was stabbed more than thirty times. There were deep wounds inflicted to her chest, abdomen, right arm and a fatal wound in the left armpit. Despite the horrific attack, Raonaid managed to crawl along the laneway for about five hundred metres before she collapsed and died. It would have taken just minutes for Raonaid to die due to the multiple knife wounds she received. She had desperately tried to make it home. Police knew this as there was a trail of blood all the way up to the opening of the laneway.
Raonaid had not been sexually assaulted and nothing was stolen so it seemed like her attacker may have been known to her. The attack, due to the frenzied nature of it, seemed personal. However, despite numerous interviews and thousands of statements taken, no motive was established. Witnesses who were in their garden that night beside the laneway told police that they heard a man and woman talking in the laneway around the time Raonaid was murdered and they heard a woman shout "get away" and then a scream.
Deirdre and Jim Murray
Police did not know which route Raonaid took on her walk home that night. One eye witness placed her in an argument with a young man on Glenageary Road Upper. They believed the girl they saw was Raonaid. That girl then crossed to Silchester Road and turned into the laneway which led towards her home. That dark laneway was the laneway where Raonaid was killed.
Police appealed to the public for information. They believed that due to the nature of the attack, the attacker would likely have had blood on his/her clothes that night. They believed that the murder weapon was a kitchen knife but the knife used to murder Raonaid was never found.
Police interviewed over 9000 people in the years that followed Raonaid’s murder and over 3000 witness statements were taken. Investigators interviewed the entire crew of an Irish Navy ship which had been docked in Dún Laoghaire the weekend that Raonaid was murdered. Despite this, they still could not establish the motive for Raonaid’s murder and there was no similar attack in the area afterwards. Throughout the course of the investigation, over twenty potential suspects were listed and fourteen arrests were made but no prime suspect has been identified to date.
A few months after Raonaid's murder, a cross was desecrated at her grave in the cemetery where she was laid to rest. Police do not know if this was a random act of violence or if it was connected to her murder.
On the 20th Anniversary of Raonaid’s murder, police appealed to the public for assistance. They released a statement:
“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.”
Deirdre and Jim Murray
Some people who were seen at the time of Raonaid's murder never came forward. Raonaid's father Jim also appealed for information:
"Time has not lessened our sense of grief and loss but sent it deeper and made it more profound.Raonaid died alone and frightened. Her killer is free. For Raonaid’s sake, help find her murderer and get the justice for her that she deserves. Please help us by coming forward now. On behalf of Raonaid’s mother, Deirdre, her brother, Daniel, her sister, Sarah, and myself, her father, Jim, thank you."
Somebody knows something. No matter how much time has past, telling the truth and doing the right thing is vital. Raonaid and her family deserve justice and answers.
If anyone has any information please contact the Garda Incident Room at Dun Laoghaire Garda Station on 01 666 5000 / 01 666 5012, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.
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