Saturday 22 October 2016

€80,000 stolen from tourists in spate of attacks here last year

Cllr Christy Burke
Cllr Christy Burke

More than €80,000 in cash was stolen from tourists who holidayed here last year, according to a charitable service that assists tourists who fall victim to crime.

The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) helped 726 people who were the victims of crime while visiting Ireland in 2014.

Theft was the most common crime, accounting for 95pc of cases that ITAS encountered. Some 213 'thefts from persons' were recorded, while 38 thefts from cars were also dealt with.

In the same year, eight tourists were victims of violent crimes while on holiday in Ireland and subsequently got in touch with ITAS.

Thieves stole a total of €80,687 in cash from the tourist victims.

The number of individuals dealt with by the service last year dropped from 812 in 2013. In that year €70,000 cash was lost to thieves.

Dublin city centre was the most common place to fall victim to a crime - with the most common time between 2pm and 6pm.

To date, the service has helped some 13,000 tourists in two decades of working with travellers to Ireland.

Most people are referred to the service via the gardai.


ITAS also helps people who have lost their passports or other travel documents, or have had them stolen - which they say can be "traumatic" for visitors.

Former Lord Mayor Christy Burke, who signed off on the report while still in the Mansion House, commended the work of the volunteers at the service.

"Despite our best efforts, we still have too many incidents of visitors falling victim to crime and physical attack while visiting our city," he said.

In the past few years there have been a number of notable assaults on tourists in Dublin. In 2014, the attack on two German tourists who were assaulted on a busy Dublin street during the St Patrick's Day celebrations by a gang of youths made the headlines.

Already this year the Herald has revealed a horror attack on a Welsh tourist who was attacked with a glass bottle just two hours after arriving in the city. Dafydd Hughes (45) received a serious injury to his scalp when he was viciously assaulted by a drunk man while he waited to board a tour bus.

Mr Hughes' two children witnessed the incident, which occurred on O'Connell Street in broad daylight.

In a separate incident an American couple, visiting Swords Castle with an 80-year-old grandmother, were also violently assaulted.

Ryan Dillon (28), Nicole Berube (25) and her grandmother, Elaine Berube, were set on by a group of people.

Mr Dillon, from Boston, was hospitalised following the attack with shoulder injuries.

Most people helped by ITAS continue their holiday here.

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