Gardai probe attack on woman inside St Stephen's Green
This is the man who sprang into action when a deaf and mute girl was dragged into bushes in St Stephen's Green and subjected to an attempted sexual assault.
Dubliner Pat Flynn was standing with a horse and buggy outside the park early yesterday afternoon when he heard screams coming from the bushes beside him.
"There's always drinkers and drug users in there fighting, so nobody pays any heed anymore. But I knew theses screams were different," Pat told the Herald.
The attack happened at around 3.30pm just feet from people enjoying the summer weather. It is just yards from the main entrance to the Green at the top of Grafton Street.
"I called the gardai and ran into the park, and I followed the shouts into the bushes.
"And then I saw this man that I recognise with his trousers down, and he had a very distressed young lady on the ground with her trousers down and he was roaring at her," Pat added.
"I could see the girl scratching at the ground trying to get away from him, and he wouldn't get off her, so I picked up a big branch that was lying on the ground and I hit him with it across the back and head. I knocked him off her," he explained.
Pat said the girl fled away from the man and curled up in the bushes.
"She folded up like a wounded frightened animal. I've never seen anyone as distressed," he said.
"The gardai arrived then and they went in to the bushes to get him out but I think he tried to bite one of them. A lady guard went in to get the girl and helped her out and she was taken to hospital," he added.
"There was a whiskey bottle on the path that I think he threatened her with," he said.
Pat said people find it hard to believe that somebody could be attacked in broad daylight in a populated park, but he said St Stephen's Green needs to be policed better.
"There's always people drinking and taking drugs in there, and sleeping and hiding in the bushes," he explained.
"There's so much noise and fighting that people don't notice anymore. When the warden opens the gate in the morning there's people walking out of it that slept the night there. It's just not safe," Pat added.
A suspect, said to be a homeless man in his 30s, was arrested and taken to Pearse Street Garda Station where he remained in custody overnight.
The victim, aged in her 20s, was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries sustained during the horrific incident.