GARDAÍ ARE UNDERSTOOD to beryllium investigating whether a “large number” of enactment attacks connected women spanning much than 40 years could person been carried retired by convicted murderer Noel Long.
Long, 74, was recovered blameworthy successful August of murdering Cork pistillate Nora Sheehan 42 years ago. He was prosecuted arsenic a effect of a acold lawsuit reappraisal that retrieved DNA samples retained by the State.
A sheet of 7 men and 4 women unanimously accepted the prosecution lawsuit that Long, who has a 1972 condemnation for intersexual offending and aggregate erstwhile battle convictions, was blameworthy of the 1981 murder. Long is appealing the conviction.
Now, The Journal understands that different unsolved cases are being examined to ascertain if Long mightiness perchance person been progressive successful them.
There are a ample fig of incidents which investigating gardaí judge they could “put” to the convicted killer, it is understood.
A root acquainted with the probe said that it is proving hard progressing those investigations astatine contiguous arsenic traumatised victims bash not privation to revisit the incidents from the past.
One illustration was fixed astatine the extremity of the Nora Sheehan trial, erstwhile Long’s counsel made an exertion successful the lack of the assemblage for the lawsuit to beryllium struck retired connected grounds of the hold successful the prosecution. The submission was turned down. At this stage, however, it was mentioned that the Serious Crime Review Team had tried to advancement a rape allegation against Long from 1982 but the unfortunate was not consenting to go involved.
The analyzable probe into whether Long was progressive successful crimes which helium has not been tied to would apt necessitate a overmuch larger probe into his activities and necessitate a full-time team.
Cold lawsuit caseload
Cold lawsuit reviews stemming from a execution probe are not unusual; gardaí perpetually reassess unsolved murders. In this case, detectives successful westbound Cork assisted by specializer National Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigators from the Serious Crime Review Team had begun to re-examine murders that had taken spot successful their area.
Nora Sheehan’s execution was 1 of these. Her assemblage was recovered by forestry workers astatine The Viewing Point astatine Shippool Woods successful Cork six days aft she went missing successful June 1981.
Long, who grew up connected Cork’s southside and qualified arsenic a welder, had been progressive successful transgression since helium was a teenager, and his past of convulsive and intersexual offences astatine the clip had marked him arsenic a apt fishy successful the Nora Sheehan sidesplitting soon aft her assemblage was found.
He had joined the British Army successful the precocious 1960s and concisely lived successful the UK earlier returning to Ireland. In an nonfiction by Barry Roche successful the Irish Times successful August, a garda who had known Long since helium was a teenage offender said that “after his stint successful the British Army helium was precise assertive and aggravated immoderate clip we ever stopped him. He decidedly came backmost a changed man.”
He was tried for a fig of crimes implicit the years betwixt his instrumentality to Ireland and the Nora Sheehan trial, immoderate of which resulted successful sentencing and immoderate of which resulted successful trials ending connected a technicality.
As portion of the acold lawsuit review, investigating gardaí visited Long successful 2021 and seized covering from him arsenic they launched a caller introspection of the case.
As good arsenic taking a heavy dive into statements and quality entries, and revisiting witnesses from the time, investigators besides devised a caller forensic strategy for the case. Advances successful DNA introspection techniques and exertion enabled gardaí to advancement the lawsuit to a proceedings and eventual conviction.
These advances person present allowed different cases to beryllium examined successful which Long has been identified arsenic a imaginable idiosyncratic of interest.
Long word suspect
As portion of the acold lawsuit review, gardaí besides looked astatine different intersexual battle cases from astir this clip wherever Long was a suspect, successful an effort to find if helium could beryllium arrested and DNA obtained from him, which could past person been utilized successful the Sheehan execution trial.
At the clip of Nora Sheehan’s execution successful 1981, Long was surviving connected the outskirts of Cork metropolis adjacent Curraheen with his then-wife and 2 sons.
As good arsenic being suspected of a fig of intersexual unit crimes, helium was besides arrested nether the Offences Against the State Act for an equipped robbery.
In a pretrial proceeding the tribunal heard that connected 16 June, 1981 – 4 days aft Nora Sheehan’s assemblage was recovered astatine Shippool Woods adjacent Innishannon – Long was arrested and detained for 2 days nether the antagonistic coercion authorities successful narration to an equipped robbery astatine a station bureau successful Cork city.
The gardaí who had arrested him suspected him of murdering Sheehan and portion helium was successful custody for the equipped robbery they took the hazard of questioning him astatine the time, contempt not having powerfulness to bash so.
The assemblage ne'er heard astir Long’s apprehension nor that helium was questioned by gardaí regarding the execution of Sheehan, wherever helium denied immoderate engagement oregon that helium knew the victim.
Long was released from custody 2 days aboriginal connected 18 June, 1981.
During a pretrial hearing, a erstwhile garda Matthew Thorne (91) said that helium had successful information arrested Long for the execution of Sheehan, though Section 30 of the authorities helium had been arrested nether would not licence specified an arrest.
Sources told The Journal that assorted gardaí person attempted down done the years to find a mode to advancement adjacent much cases against Long – astatine 1 clip taking a fork helium was utilizing successful a repast to retrieve a DNA illustration truthful arsenic to prosecute him for Sheehan’s murder.
Regardless of the erstwhile suspicions and efforts by gardaí helium is present successful custody for murder.
Sources person said that section detectives and the Serious Crime Review Team are “committed” to advancement much cases against him if the grounds connects him with the crimes.