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Woman was ‘shook’ after threat of bomb at Minister’s home

A volunteer at the Samaritans told the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that she was “shook up” after she took a call from a man who told her bombs had been planted in the home of the Minister for Justice three years ago.

Michael Murray, 52, formerly of Seafield Road in Killiney in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to making the call from the Midlands Prison on 7 March 2021.

Murray was an inmate at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise when he is alleged to have made a call threatening the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and her family the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.

A volunteer at the Samaritans testified that she took a call from a man at 8.30pm on 7 March 2021 who told her that “explosives have been planted at the home of the Minister for Justice and her family”.

The caller also told the volunteer that he was from the Irish National Liberation Organisation and that the code word was “Red October”.

The witness said he spoke carefully and calmly and repeated the threat before asking her if she had got the message. He then hung up.

Michael Murray has pleaded not guilty to making the call

The volunteer told the court that at the end of the call she was “a bit shook up after it”. She contacted her supervisor before calling the gardaí.

She also filled out a bomb warning and threat to life form and made a statement to the gardaí the next day.

In his opening statement, prosecuting counsel Sean Gillane told the jury of eight men and four women that a Garda operation was put in place, the Minister’s home was searched but no explosives, or anything untoward was found.

The call was traced back to the Midlands prison where he said a record of every call is kept.

While calls are not recorded in order to allow prisoners privacy, he said, the fact that it happened is recorded and each prisoner is given an individual prisoner identification number (PIN).

The call he said was traced back through this PIN to a cell occupied by Michael Murray.

He was the sole occupant of the cell and the sole occupant on the night in question. He was arrested and questioned and the allegations put to him.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to knowingly making a false report tending to give rise to an apprehension for the safety of persons or property on the 7 March 2021 at the Midlands Prison, Dublin Road, Portlaoise.

The trial continues tomorrow.


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