Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
GUBU was an acronym coined by Conor Cruise O'Brien on foot of Charles Haughey's statement of a series of incidents, involving a double murder in 1982, having been grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented. Charles Haughey was then the Taoiseach (prime minister) of the Republic of Ireland at the time of the incident.
The acronym and phrase are occassionally used in Ireland to describe notorious scandals.
The murderer, Malcolm MacArthur, was an eccentric and well-known character in social circles of Dublin and never held a job as he lived off a modest inheritance. However, as his money ran out, MacArthur decided to fund his lifestyle by robbery. First he decided to purchase a gun and responding to an advertisement by Dónal Dunne, a farmer of Edenderry , County Offaly who had a shotgun for sale. However, having no transport and needing to get from Dublin to Edenderry, he decided to steal a car.
On July 22 1982, nurse Bridie Gargan (27) had been sunbathing in the Phoenix Park during her time off work. MacArthur, intending to steal her car, bludgeoned her with a hammer. In the ensuing confusion, MacArthur drove off leaving the dying nurse Gargan on the back seat.
At this point a passing ambulance became involved and escorted MacArthur to the hospital as the driver mistook him for a doctor because of a windscreen sticker which nurse Gargan had. MacArthur later abandonded the car in Dublin. Three days later, Dónal Dunne was murdered by his own gun after MacArthur examined it, having found alternative means to get to Edenderry. MacArthur then stole Dunne's car and drove it to Dublin. These two violent murders created a sensation as unmotivated and violent murder in Ireland coupled with the youth and respectibility of the farmer and nurse was an unusually set of circumstances.
The Garda Síochána (Irish police) soon had a description of the person they wanted.
MacArthur was involved with Patrick Connolly, Attorney General of Ireland who was the chief advisor to the Irish Government on law. Both attended a match in Croke Park, several days after the murder, and this lead to a discussion between Connolly and the Garda Commissioner, Patrick McLoughlin in the presence of MacArthur regarding the murder. On August 13 MacArthur was arrested on the private property of Connolly, and had been staying in the property for some time as a guest. Connolly, who had been getting ready for holiday, continued on his journey to the United States and did not give any interview to the Gardai on the matter.
A serious effort was made to prevent the relationship with Connolly and MacArthur becoming public and indeed it was claimed that this was homosexual, something that was later discounted. Connolly was promptly requested to return to Ireland where he then resigned on August 16. Haughey attempted to distance himself from the fiasco and described the event as "grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented".
MacArthur admitted his guilt of the murder of the nurse. Because of this, he was not tried for Dunne's murder as the state entered a plea of nolle prosequi. This lead to a petition of 10,000 signatures to ensure MacArthur would be tried for his murder. This was unsuccessful and MacArthur received a life sentence for just one murder.
In 2003 the parole board recommended that MacArthur be put on a temporary release program which would eventully lead to his release. Michael McDowell, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, who was also part of MacArthur's defence team in the murder trial, decided that he would take no part in the decision for fear of a conflict of interest. In July 2004 it was decided to keep MacArthur in prison, as relatives - including his mother - considered him dangerous.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details