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File image of Justice Minister Helen McEntee Alamy Stock Photo
michael murray

Man found guilty of making bomb threat from prison against Justice Minister Helen McEntee

Michael Murray claimed to be from the INLA and said explosives had been planted at the home of Helen McEntee.

A MAN ACCUSED of phoning in a bomb threat to the house of Justice Minister Helen McEntee has been found guilty by a jury.

Michael Murray (52), formerly of Seafield Road, Killiney, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to one count of knowingly making a false report giving rise to an apprehension for the safety of someone else while he was imprisoned in the Midlands Prison, Portlaoise on 7 March, 2021.

The eight-day trial heard that an anonymous caller phoned the Samaritans claiming to be from the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) and said explosives had been planted at the home of Helen McEntee.

The jury in the trial returned the verdict today after five hours and 10 minutes of deliberation.

Murray made no reaction as the verdict was handed down in court.

He has previous convictions for rape, false imprisonment, sexual assault, child abduction, threats to kill, harassment, theft and armed robbery.

In 2013, Murray was convicted of abducting a mother and her four-year-old son and repeatedly raping the woman for hours.

He received a sentence of 19 years’ imprisonment for this.

He was then sentenced to 16 further years in prison for a campaign of harassment and death threats directed at his victim and the prosecuting lawyers in that trial – with the judge calling his actions an “unprecedented and deliberate” abuse of process.

During his sentence hearing for those charges, he threw a bible at the judge.

That judge described his actions as “a fundamental attack on our system of justice”.

Judge Patricia Ryan thanked the jurors for their service and adjourned the matter for sentencing next Friday.

She remanded Murray in continuing custody.

David O'Sullivan