by Harry McGee
The summer of 1982 was long-seared into the Irish public imagination for more than just its record high temperatures. That July, an aristocrat named Malcolm Macarthur went on a brutal killing spree, taking the lives of two innocent young people - Bridie Gargan and Dσnal Dunne - in a doomed plan to remedy his financial woes.
A massive manhunt was launched and, in a sensational turn of events, Macarthur was captured in the home of the State's top law officer, Attorney General Patrick Connolly. The scandal attracted worldwide headlines and resulted in untold damage to Taoiseach Charles Haughey. The words he used to describe the dark events - grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented - coined the era-defining phrase GUBU.
In The Murderer and the Taoiseach, award-winning political journalist and GUBU podcastmaker Harry McGee retraces the happenings of that long hot summer and beyond. From
the cat-and-mouse game to track down an unpredictable killer to Macarthur's
extraordinary capture, he considers both the life and psyche of a murderer, and that of the leading political figure of the time - a man similarly driven by greed, status and a sense of himself as existing above the law.
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Date of Publication: 18/05/2023