Granddaughter relieved at death of abuser, ex-lord mayor of Cork

City councillors’ expression of condolences ‘slap in the face’, says survivor Elaine Murray

Former lord mayor of Cork John Murray was jailed for a year in 2013 after he was found guilty of five counts of sexually assaulting his grand-daughter.

Former lord mayor of Cork John Murray was jailed for a year in 2013 after he was found guilty of five counts of sexually assaulting his grand-daughter.

 

The granddaughter of a former lord mayor of Cork city has said she is relieved that her abuser is dead, but remains angry that Cork City Council expressed condolences following the death of the 86-year-old.

Waiving her right to anonymity, Elaine Murray said Cork City’s councillors’ condolences were a “slap in the face”. She said: “I am so upset that he was even mentioned .”

John Murray of Gregg Road, Cork, was jailed for a year in 2013 after he was found guilty of five counts of sexually assaulting his granddaughter while she was in her teens at dates between March 1996 and October 1998.

Saying the abuse had “consumed” and “tainted” her adult life, she told Cork’s Red FM: “There has been such a divide in our family that for other members of the family this is a relief. It is a relief that he is gone.”

She went on: “I knew I couldn’t airbrush history. I never attempted to airbrush history. His name is still on plaques in the city and I appreciate that. The trial was extremely hard. It was all over the media. It was national news.

‘Very lenient’

“It was a horrible experience. It was horrific. I was happy he received a custodial sentence at all because these cases are so hard to prove. But I thought it was very lenient and he was released after nine months.”

Ms Murray previously persuaded the local authority to remove a picture of her grandfather from public display: “We had to challenge them to take it down. There were numerous meetings before it was taken down.

“The photograph for me was a very big deal. I would be in and out of City Hall a lot and I just didn’t want to have to see that photograph. And I didn’t want other victims of abuse to have to look at a photograph of a sex offender.”

Giving evidence during his four-day trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, the retired taxi driver and former Labour city councillor denied the allegations, saying he had been shocked and disgusted by them.