A Dublin park for wildlife and for people

Phoenix Park crimes

A history

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moneybagWherever people gather there will be an attraction for criminals to attend with the intent of enriching themselves at the expense of others.

However, law enforcement will usually catch up with them and prison sentences ensue.

noose In earlier centuries the hangman’s noose was a villain’s fate; nowadays, jail time beckons, and that can be for a very long time indeed, as the murderous Malcolm McArthur discovered in 1982 to his cost.

In times past, it was quite normal for people of substance to be accompanied by armed escorts as they made their way through Phoenix Park. The viceroy, the king’s representative in Ireland, travelled with a mounted guard of cavalry to protect his body and his office at all times. Many others chose to be similarly protected on their way through the park.

The Invincibles Murders
knife handChief Secretary, Lord Frederick Cavendish and his Under-Secretary, Thomas Burke, were stabbed to death with surgical knives in May 1882 within sight of the Vice Regal Lodge by members of the Invincibles, a small revolutionary group of the period. Eight months later, in January 1883, warrants were issued for the arrest of more than twenty men who were subsequently tried for the killing. All were convicted and six received the death sentence, while the others were given long terms of imprisonment.

Malcolm McArthur
Chesterfield Avenue was the scene of another horrific murder almost exactly a century later, when Bridie Gargan, a young nurse who was sunbathing beside her parked car, was beaten to death by a would-be bank robber intent on stealing her car. On the afternoon of July 22, 1982, Malcolm McArthur attacked her with a lump hammer when she tried to stop him taking her car. McArthur was subsequently captured and pleaded guilty to Nurse Gargan’s murder. He was still incarcerated in 2008, some twenty-six years later.

book jacket For more detail read

The comprehensive book on Dublin's own national park.

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ISBN 1-904148-78-6

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Copies of Phoenix Park a history and guidebook are a welcome addition to your corporate or conference goodybags.

Brendan Nolan has reported on Phoenix Park as a freelance journalist for several decades and was a professional observer at many of the events of the late 20th century related herein.

He was born in Chapelizod in a house beside the churchyard of Le Fanu and counted Phoenix Park as his personal rambling ground through his growing years and beyond.

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"Brendan Nolan's comprehensive history and guidebook of Phoenix Park is a masterpiece." Community Voice.

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