Noel Long: Nora Sheehan’s killer linked to attacks on sex workers | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey
Sources have told the Sunday World the now 75-year-old rained terror on a number of women working in the sex industry around the Cork area in the early 1990s.
The biker from Maulbaun, Passage West, Co Cork, is said to have beaten his victims so badly that they were left in hospital with severe injuries.
However, the women did not make statements against the predator out of fear.
“There’s myriad reasons why sex workers won’t come forward,” Linda Kavanagh from Sex Workers Alliance of Ireland told the Sunday World.
“Some are migrants or drug takers, most want to stay under the radar, and they fear they won’t be taken seriously.”
Kavanagh says that while there was a lot of stigma around working in the sex industry in the ’90s, much hasn’t changed.
“A lot of language still used is rather dehumanising,” she says.
Long has a long string of convictions for assault, public disorder, burglary and attempted rape.
The killer was under investigation for the attempted rape of a teenager in 1980.
In 1982, he raped another young woman who was too afraid to testify against him despite a visit from Cold Case detectives before his recent murder trial.
He was a person of interest in the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier (pictured below) at her home in West Cork.
However, as the French woman was not sexually assaulted, he did not become a suspect.
During a separate attack, the brute forced his way into a woman’s home and attempted to assault her before stealing her mother’s pension and fleeing.
Just a few years later he drove a 22-year-old woman to the woods and attempted to assault her.
While fear was a significant factor in the women attacked not coming forward, a culture of victim blaming can prevent injured parties from pressing charges.
Earlier this month Noel Long was convicted of murdering tragic mother Nora Sheehan in 1981.
Following a three-week trial, a jury of seven men and four women considered their verdict for just over five hours.
Long was 32 when Nora Sheehan vanished on June 6, 1981, after attending the emergency department in South Infirmary Hospital in Cork.
The 54-year-old had been bitten after she tried to separate two dogs fighting outside her home.
Sheehan, who had been described as ‘vulnerable’ and ‘eccentric’ often waved down cars in the streets, talking to anyone she could about suspicions she had about bodies being kept in car boots, and conspiracies about the local psychiatric hospital where she used to work.
The trial at the Central Criminal Court heard how the mother of three sons was last seen just after 4am on the morning of her murder.
Her body was then discovered days later on June 12 at Shippool Woods in Innishannon, Co Cork.
Her body was disposed in the most undignified manner — she was dumped in undergrowth, naked, except a blue floral dress pulled up over her face, and her tights which were hanging off.
Local brute Long was hauled in days later by gardaí investigating a post-office robbery.
Known for his reputation as a sex offender, gardaí suspected his involvement in Nora’s tragic murder.
A forensic analysis eventually matched debris from Noel’s blue Opel Kadett with fibres and paint on Nora’s clothing and under her fingernails.
It wasn’t until years later — thanks to a DNA breakthrough in 2022 — that semen swabbed from Nora’s body during her post-mortem was matched with Noel Long, leading to his re-arrest and ultimate conviction.