Men quizzed on horror rape attack in park were on bail
Two men questioned by gardai about the horrific rape of a Dublin mum were out on bail at the time of attack, the Herald can reveal.
A manhunt is under way for a third suspect following the terrifying attack on the young woman in Clondalkin earlier this week.
Gardai arrested the two suspects yesterday after an early morning swoop.
However, the Herald has learned both men - aged 19 and 21 - were out on bail for separate offences at the time of the brutal rape attack.
It has also emerged that the two men have around 30 convictions between them.
They are known to gardai, but for minor theft and public order offences. The pair were last night released without charge.
Meanwhile, a third suspect is still on the run and a manhunt is under way to track him down. Sources said gardai were confident he would be detained.
The terrifying rape happened on Thursday at 3.20am on the Ninth Lock Road in Clondalkin, near the junction at the Neilstown Road.
It's understood the woman, who is in her 30s, was returning home after stopping at a local petrol station to buy groceries.
The woman was pushing her bicycle along the footpath after leaving the nearby garage when she was grabbed by the three men.
She was pulled into an area of parkland beside the road, where the attack continued.
It's now known that of the three thugs who attacked the woman, one man raped her.
Though the woman was threatened at knifepoint during her ordeal, there is no indication that the weapon was used on her.
The victim did not know her attackers. One source described how the horrific attack was as "random as you can get".
However, it is understood the two suspects quizzed by gardai are from the area where the attack took place.
Following the incident, the victim alerted gardai. Officers from Ronanstown Garda Station - which is just 400m from where the attack took place - rushed to the scene.
The woman was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital. Specialist gardai from the Clondalkin district will interview her about the attack.
It is expected that gardai will establish more details about the incident once that interview takes place.
The Rotunda unit in Dublin city centre provides specialist treatment for women and men aged 14 years or older who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Members of the garda technical bureau carried out a forensic examination of the scene shortly before 9am on Thursday.
Officers removed plastic sheeting covering the victim's bike, and it was placed in a garda van for further technical examination.
There has been a massive public response since news of the attack emerged.
It is understood gardai in Ronanstown Garda Station were dealing with a large amount of calls from the public throughout Thursday and yesterday evening.
It is believed that information yielded from these calls led to the identification of suspects and the two arrests. Last night, gardai continued to study CCTV from the surrounding areas.
They are appealing for anyone with information in relation to the incident, or anyone who was in the area at the time to contact them at Ronanstown Garda Station.
Investigating detectives are also appealing for any motorists who may have passed the area in the time before or after the attack to come forward.
In particular, they are asking that drivers of any vehicles equipped with dash-cameras contact them to further assist their inquiries.
It is understood that officers revisited the scene of the rape attack yesterday as they piece together the events leading up to the incident.
Sources told the Herald that CCTV from the area and nearby businesses, is being obtained as gardai trawl through hours of footage.
Although the area is well-lit at night, the place where the attack took place is heavily shaded because of bushes growing in that particular spot.
Thursday's terrifying attack is not the first violent rape and sexual assault in the Clondalkin area in the last number of months.
In September 2015, a woman was raped in the Monastery Road area of Clondalkin in what was described as "a particularly violent attack".
She was set upon as she walked along a road in the estate, which is located between Clondalkin village and the N4 dual-carriageway at about 1.40am.
That victim was also transferred to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries.
Thursday's horror attack comes just days after the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) revealed that almost 12,000 people contacted the organisation's helpline last year.
Over half of those who made contact were calling for the first time about rape or sexual abuse.
The report revealed that nearly 24pc of adults who experienced rape or sexual assault were abused by strangers.
DRCC chief executive Noeline Blackwell has now called on the Government to enact the Criminal Law Bill 2015 when the Dail resumes.
"The Sexual Offences Bill, tackling internet abuse - which is still not illegal in Ireland - will give today's children a much better chance of staying safe than they have right now," Ms Blackwell said.