The murderer and the Taoiseach


The summer of 1982 was long-seared into the Irish public imagination for more than just record temperatures. That July, aristocrat Malcolm Macarthur went on a killing spree, taking the lives of two innocent people – Bridie Gargan and Dónal Dunne – in a doomed plan to ease his financial woes. A massive manhunt was launched and Macarthur was eventually captured in the home of the state’s top law officer, Attorney General Patrick Connolly. The scandal resulted in untold damage to Taoiseach Charles Haughey, and the words he used to describe the drama – grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented – coined the phrase GUBU. Here, GUBU podcast-maker Harry McGee retraces these sensational events.

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SKU: 9781399718615 Category: Tags: ,


‘An incredible and compelling story’ MATT COOPER

‘Gripping, unpretentious, brilliant and unputdownable’ BUSINESS POST

A Murderer. A Leader. The Scandal of an Era.

In the summer of 1982, Irish aristocrat Malcolm Macarthur embarked on a brutal killing spree in a doomed plan to remedy his financial woes.

Two weeks later, in a sensational turn of events, he was arrested in the home of Attorney General Patrick Connolly. The scandal attracted worldwide headlines and resulted in untold damage to then Taoiseach Charles Haughey. The words he used to describe the dark events – grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented – coined the era-defining phrase GUBU.

Here, award-winning political journalist 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.

Including previously unknown aspects of the trial and interaction with Malcolm Macarthur himself, The Murderer and the Taoiseach is a compulsive journey through tragedy and scandal.

‘Brisk, illuminating, crackling with detail’ TONY CONNELLY

‘A brilliant account of shocking crimes and the dramatic political crisis they caused’ DAVID McCULLAGH

Additional information

Weight 0.26 kg
Dimensions 19.6 × 12.8 × 3.2 cm










364.15230941709048 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K


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