Inside the Crime Timeline: Charles Self's final hours

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Michael Staines
Michael Staines

05.55 15 Nov 2022

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Inside the Crime Timeline: Cha...

Inside the Crime Timeline: Charles Self's final hours

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

05.55 15 Nov 2022

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Charles Self spent his final hours in some of the few gay-friendly night spots Dublin city centre had to offer back in 1982.

After a liquid lunch with his good friend Bill Maher, he went back to work before heading home to put his feet up.

Not long later, he decided to head back into town. He was in great spirits after getting some good news at work, and he was ready to celebrate.


The following morning, he was dead.



He was found slumped in a pool of blood in his Monkstown home after one of the most brutal murders the city had ever seen. Forty years later, no one has ever been charged with the crime.

Below is a timeline, featuring everything we know about Charles’ final hours.

Wednesday, January 20th

  • 1pm | Charles meets his good friend Bill Maher for afternoon drinks at the Bailey on Duke Street.
  • 2:45pm | The two friends go their separate ways. Charles catches a bus towards Donnybrook where he was due to meet his boss Alan Pleass.
  • After work | Charles heads home to Monkstown and lights a fire; however, sometime later he decides to head back into town.

The three pubs Charles spent the evening at. The three pubs Charles spent the evening at. Image: Google/Inside the Crime

  • 8:30pm | While waiting for a bus in the freezing cold on Monkstown Avenue, Charles is picked up by a kind stranger and dropped off at O'Connell Bridge and heads back to the Bailey.
  • 9:00pm | After leaving the Bailey, Charles arrives at the South William pub where he stays for around an hour and a half.
  • 10:30pm | Charles moves on Bartley Dunnes, another gay-friendly bar in the city centre, where he drinks with friends until last orders.
  • 11:30pm | Charles leaves the pub and heads down to the Hotpot Café on Burgh Quay where he orders fish and chips and chats to staff members and fellow customers.

Thursday, January 21st

  • 12:05am | Charles leaves the café with his food.
  • Shortly afterwards | Charles meets a man at the public toilets on Burgh Quay. The location is a well-known pick-up spot for gay men as well as a place where it was possible to pick up male prostitutes.
  • 12:30am | A young man who knew Charles sees him chatting to two young men, one of whom he had seen earlier that night at the gay nightclub in the Hirschfeld Centre in Temple Bar.

Later in the evening Charles headed towards Burgh Quay and Eden Quay. Later in the evening Charles headed towards Burgh Quay and Eden Quay. Image: Google/Inside the Crime
  • 12:30am | Around the same time, a bus conductor who knew Charles see him chatting with a man on the quays. He describes the man as being in his mid-twenties, between 5'5" and 5'10" in height with medium-length fair hair.
  • 12:30am | Again, around the same time, taxi man Patrick Shanley picks up Charles at the top of the taxi rank on Eden Quay. Charles gets into the taxi alongside a man in his mid-twenties, dressed in a two-piece suit, with collar-length fair hair.
  • Around 12:40am | The taxi arrives back at Charles' home in Monkstown and both men get out. This is the last-known time Charles was seen alive.

A view of Dublin Bay and Monkstown from Seapoint. A view of Dublin Bay and Monkstown from Seapoint.

Brighton Avenue in Monkstown. Image: Google Brighton Avenue in Monkstown. Image: Google
  • Around 2am | Charles' friend Bertie Tyrer, who is staying over at his house hears a conversation downstairs. shortly after he is awoken again as man walks into his room and says “sorry, wrong room” before leaving again.
  • 8:45am | Bertie Tyrer gets up and walks downstairs to find Charles lying dead in a pool of blood. He can't get a dial tone on the phone in Charles' house so he runs across the courtyard to call emergency services from Charles’ neighbour Mary Lidell’s house.
  • 8:59am | Bertie's call is logged and Gardaí are dispatched from Blackrock Garda Station, arriving at the house minutes later. When they arrive, the ambulance crew is already there.
  • Following morning | The house is officially declare da crime scene and investigators are ordered not to disturb the body until State pathologist Prof John Harbison arrives around lunchtime. A cordon is erected around the scene, murder squad is called in and an incident room is set up at Dun Laoghaire Garda Station.



In the second season of Inside the Crime, Frank Greaney examines the crime, the investigation and the impact the murder had on Irish society.

Throughout the series, will be bringing you Deeper Inside The Crime with everything from pictures and video to timelines, crime scene graphics and in-depth articles – and you can find it all here.

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