Gardai (police) are searching for four masked men who held a knife to blonde socialite Lisa Murphy and robbed her of €1 million in jewelry, including a €500,000 engagement ring bought for her by super-hoofer Michael Flatley, her former fiancé.
Murphy, 38, now lives with her new fiancé, celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean, at their mansion in Co. Wicklow, but she retained Flatley’s engagement ring after they split in 2006.
The stolen jewelry included another valuable engagement ring bought for Murphy by Kean. Also taken from the couple’s safe were an array of bracelets, necklaces, brooches and earrings.
The theft included jewelry belonging to Kean’s teenage daughter, Kirsten, by his marriage to his separated wife Clodagh.
Murphy was alone in the house she shares with Kean in Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow, when the four men, two of them armed with knives, burst into the home when she arrived last Thursday evening at 8 p.m.
She was speaking to a friend on her cellphone as she opened the door and the men pounced.
Kean was at a business meeting and didn’t return for two hours when he found Murphy tied with heavy, black nylon tape. The raiders, who spoke with local accents, were only in the house for a maximum of six minutes.
The jewelry was uninsured as the couple had only recently completed building work on the house and the conditions required as part of the insurance policy had yet to be put in place. Kean also admitted that the CCTV system, which was installed around the house, had not been operational that night because of the building work.
Kean said the gang started screaming at his fiancée, “Where's Gerald’s ring, where's Michael’s ring? At that time, one of them pulled a ring from her hand. It cut her hand. Then they took another ring from the other hand.”
Kean said he returned earlier than planned because he was unable to get a reply to Murphy on the phone.
“I kept ringing and ringing. I just really felt something was up. Eventually I got so worried I drove out home to Wicklow. I got there about 9:55 p.m. Lisa’s car was there,” he said.
“Immediately after I got in, I heard her shouting and I thought, ‘Oh my God, there has been an accident.’
But I found Lisa tied up in our bedroom, her hands and legs quite firmly tied. “They stole all her jewelry and they had threatened to cut off her finger if she didn't tell them where the safe was and open it up for them.”
Murphy said the day after the raid, “I am very angry with the men responsible for this. It’s been a terrible thing to go through and I didn’t sleep at all last night.”
She added, “This incident will not force either myself or Gerald to leave this house, which is our home.”
Ten years ago when Murphy was with Flatley when his Monte Carlo mansion was raided by a lone intruder at 3 a.m. Flatley heard a door move and he lay quietly in bed, not wishing to wake Murphy.
Suddenly a man’s head came around the door and he stared straight at Flatley. He screamed at the man and woke Murphy.
As he leaped out of bed to chase the intruder he told Murphy, who at first thought she was having a nightmare, to call the police. The intruder escaped and police later said they believed he was a stalker, as nothing was stolen from the mansion.