herald

Saturday 17 November 2018

Man arrested after woman (75) 'lured into car and raped'

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Gardai have arrested a 49-year-old Co Mayo man in connection with the alleged rape of a 75-year-old woman in Ennis.

It is understood that the man lured the woman into his car under false pretences outside Ennis public library, which is opposite a girls' secondary school, at around 11.30am on Thursday.

It is alleged that the man then drove the woman to a car park located behind Ennis Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre a kilometre away, where the alleged rape took place.

The man had stopped his car at Ennis General Hospital and St Joseph's Hospital before reaching the leisure centre car park.

The pensioner raised the alarm later that day and gardai were able to identify the man's car through CCTV footage from a roundabout around 100 metres from the leisure centre.

Chief Superintendent John Kerin, of the Clare Garda Division, confirmed that a man had been arrested in relation to the alleged rape and taken to a garda station in Co Mayo for questioning.

He confirmed that the man was released without charge on Saturday.

A file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the earliest opportunity.

Chief Supt Kerin said gardai were "not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation".

He declined to comment on the circumstances of the incident for operational reasons.

On hearing details concerning the alleged rape, Fine Gael councillor Mary Howard, who is chairperson of the Clare Joint Policing Committee, said: "I am genuinely shocked to my core to hear about this.

Unbelievable

"I am heartbroken for the woman that something like this would happen to her at this stage of her life.

"I hope that she is getting all the support from the various services at this time.

"The circumstances in this case are quite unbelievable, as there would be families with children going in and coming out of the leisure centre car park at 11.30 in the morning."

The woman did not know the alleged rapist and it will be alleged that he warned her not to go to gardai.

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