herald

Saturday 27 May 2017

Probe after man exposes himself to woman in park

Willsbrook Park in Lucan
Willsbrook Park in Lucan

An investigation is underway after a man exposed himself to a young woman at a popular west Dublin park.

The horrifying incident took place at Willsbrook Park at approximately 7.45pm last Thursday. Locals in Lucan have now been warned to be on high alert, with reports of similar incidents taking place in the park recently.

The woman said she saw a man commit the lewd act as she walked by the park's main gate.

The man fled into the darkness of the park when she screamed. The repulsed woman took to social media to describe the encounter.

Dismay

"This isn't the first time this has happened to me. The exact same thing happened last year when I was coming home from work, only that time he was standing on the footbridge in the park fondling and I had no choice but to walk past him," she said.

"This is a year on and nothing has been done about it. I live right beside the park and have to walk by it on my way home from work every day and genuinely don't feel safe."

According to reports, the man in question is in his late 20s or 30s. He is described as 5ft 9in or 10in tall and was wearing dark blue jeans and a dark coloured zip-up jacket.

Other locals have also taken to Facebook to post warnings about the flasher and to express their dismay at the incident.

Last year, Lucan Sarsfields GAA Club sent a warning note to parents following an incident where a man exposed himself to two club members in the park.

In 2014, two teenage girls on their way home from school reported that a man had flashed in the same location.

Lucan Councillor William Lavelle told the Herald that this incident is "disgusting but not surprising".

"I know there have been many concerns over the years in relation to individuals exposing themselves in Willsbrook Park.

"It's questionable whether it's the one individual or different people over a space of time. A lot of people are just disgusted at this latest incident, but they are not surprised due to the previous occurrences.

Lighting

"There is no doubt that the park's trees need to be cut back, which I've been pushing for quite a while. The park is also very underlit, but the council have come up with proposals to install public lighting there as part of a pedestrian improvement plan."

A garda spokesperson said they "are investigating an incident of indecent exposure that occurred late Thursday evening".

Fines for indecent exposure of up to €500 can be imposed under the Public Order Act, which provides for "offensive conduct in public". The offence can also be dealt with under Section 18 of the Criminal Law Act, with fines of up to €634.97 or up to six months in prison.

Anyone who has any information on the offence is asked to contact Lucan Garda Station on 01-6667300.

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