herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

One lone man believed to be behind four different sex assaults in south Dublin

The entrance to Shankill Dart Station (INM)
The entrance to Shankill Dart Station (INM)

One lone man is believed to be behind four different sexual attacks on young women in south Dublin.

To date, four incidents in which females were assaulted have been reported to gardai, while a further two instances of suspicious approaches have also been reported.

Sources have also revealed that despite gardai receiving two varying descriptions of the alleged perpetrator, detectives are satisfied that the same individual is behind all of the attacks.

"One description received was that the man was in his 40s, while another person described a male in his 20s. Both spoke with Dublin accents, but despite the significant age difference officers are satisfied that there is only one man involved," a source said.

The first incident on December 2 happened close to Shankill Dart Station.

The second was on January 3, at the entrance to the nearby Holly Park estate.

Two further assaults were reported on February 9 and 10 on Quinn's Road in Shankill, and Military Road near Killiney Dart Station.

Meanwhile, two suspicious approaches in the area were also reported on January 20 and February 7.

Residents living in the south Dublin suburb of Shankill - where most of the attacks have taken place - have expressed their anger and fear over the last few weeks.

One young woman who was the victim of an attempted sexual assault has criticised certain people for their attitude towards the incidents.

"I've seen some statuses on this (Facebook) making fun of all the attacks that have been happening around Shankill recently," the woman said.

"I just have to say that as someone who has actually been through it and knows how scary it is, I know it's not an exaggeration.

"People are posting about it to raise awareness. I doubt if it happened to you or someone you cared about, that you would be making jokes about it. Have a little tact lads," the young woman added on her social media account.

Approached

She had revealed how a man approached her on January 3 as she made her way home from Shankill Dart Station.

One local man previously told the Herald how his young daughter was approached by a man who tried to grab her only weeks before the first complaint was made to gardai.

"A man approached my 12-year-old daughter just before the attacks started," he said.

"It wasn't of a sexual nature, but it has still left her traumatised and she can't even go out and play with her friends.

"Since the most recent attacks I've also began collecting my older daughter, who works in town, from the Dart station. I just don't feel it's safe in the area at the moment."

Locals said the presence of a garda helicopter has helped ease some fears. However, others believe that not enough is being done to catch the perpetrator.

Megan Devlin (22), from the Shankill area, said she walks to the Dart station to collect her brother's partner.

"It's basically safety in numbers. I bring the dog with me so I'm fine, and my brother isn't comfortable with his partner walking home alone," she said.

"You can see the number of cars here waiting to collect people. They are genuinely afraid."

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