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Monday 27 March 2017

Hunt for brutal rapist goes on after DNA tests rule out three suspects

A garda forensics officer at the scene of the rape of a young mum in Clondalkin last July
A garda forensics officer at the scene of the rape of a young mum in Clondalkin last July

Gardai investigating the rape of a young mother in west Dublin are still hunting for the attacker after three chief suspects were ruled out following DNA tests.

It is understood that officers will use the recently set-up DNA database in an attempt to identify the rapist.

The attack was carried out last July in Clondalkin as the young woman was walking home from work in the early hours.

Three men - two brothers and a cousin - were identified as chief suspects in the immediate aftermath, and two of them, aged in their early 20s, were arrested and interviewed.

Tracked

Another man, related to them, fled the area, sparking a manhunt.

However, he has recently been tracked down and has formally been spoken to by investigating detectives.

DNA tests were carried out on all three men, which have now established that they were not involved.

Detectives are trawling through the garda DNA database - which stores the DNA of convicted criminals - in an attempt to identify a chief suspect.

"There is major concern, of course, that a dangerous rapist is still on the streets," a senior source said.

"This was a random attack on a very decent woman who was savagely attacked in the most horrible way."

DNA of a male was recovered at the scene of the crime, and this will be compared against other specimens in the database to try to determine a match.

The attack happened on the Ninth Lock Road in Clondalkin near the junction with the Neils- town Road at around 3.20am last July 28.

The victim did not know her attackers. After raising the alarm herself she was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at Rotunda Hospital.

She was pushing her bicycle along a footpath away from Clondalkin village when she was grabbed by three men, one of whom raped her.

Although the woman was threatened at knifepoint during her ordeal, there is no indication that the weapon was used on her.

The investigation is being led by officers from Lucan Garda Station, who received a massive response from the public after they issued an appeal for information.

Sinn Fein TD Eoin O Broin previously described how people were outraged after the attack.

"My thoughts are with the victim. The local community are very shocked but also very angered," he said.

"A crime like this will create a significant amount of fear in the area. I would urge anyone with information to contact the investigating detectives.

Justice

"It is the third such attack in the area in recent times and we must do all we can to make sure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice and that it doesn't happen again."

Gardai are continuing to appeal for information.

Officers have been able to use the DNA database since November.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald signed the commencement order for the legislation officially enabling it on Friday.

It is based at Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) in Phoenix Park.

A crime scene index within the database contains DNA profiles generated from biological samples lifted from crime scenes whether before or after the legislation came into force.

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