Charlie Self and Vincent Hanley

GH 130618

Charlie Self | Public domain | 14232

Charles (Charlie) Self, a well-known figure in the Irish gay community, was murdered in his flat in Dublin, Ireland in 1982. Nobody was ever charged with his killing. His former friend and house mate Vincent Hanley was a video and radio disc jockey who died in 1987.

Charlie Self was a 33-year-old set designer with RTE, the Irish state broadcaster, who was brutally murdered on January 21, 1982.

Self was the victim of a vicious knife attack. He was stabbed at least 14 times in the chest and the blade penetrated right through his back six times. A ligature was tied round the neck after this wound had been inflicted. Self’s living room had been ransacked but there was no evidence of a robbery. The killer left through a window, leaving footprints in the blood on the carpet. People living nearby did not notice anything unusual that could help the investigation. Two fingerprints at the house in Annesley Mews, Monkstown were never matched.

Irish Police questioned around 1,500 people during the investigation and narrowed the suspects down to two young men, both homosexual prostitutes. One had an alibi; the other could not be identified by a witness who had seen the set designer with a young man at a late-opening café on the night of the murder. A main problem facing the detectives was that despite their best efforts there was a lack of co-operation from the largely underground gay community in Dublin, at the time homosexuality itself and sex between even consenting adult males were crimes.

On the night he was murdered, Self had been cruising around Dublin city centre, visiting a number of gay haunts. He left the city in a taxi in the company of a young man. An RTE colleague who was sharing the house, who had taken the room vacated by Vincent Hanley, found his body the next morning. He said he was disturbed at around 2.30am by a young man with dark hair who came into his room and said: “sorry, wrong room” or words to that effect, before leaving. He told Police it was not unusual for Mr Self to bring young men back to the house and he didn’t feel concerned.

Self, who was born in England but brought up in Scotland, worked for the BBC before joining RTE as a set designer seven years before his death.

Vincent Hanley | RTÉ/Today in Irish History | 14233

Vincent Hanley was born on 2 April 1954 and died in Dublin on 18 April 1987. He was a pioneering Irish radio DJ and television presenter, who worked mainly for Radio Telefís Éireann and was the first Irish celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness – congenital cerebral toxoplasmosis, described as an “eye disorder”, which left him blind in one eye.


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