herald

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Mothers warned after third report of snatch attempt

CCTV footage in Bray has yielded no further clues to the alleged abduction attempt during the week.

Gardai have carried out extensive inquiries into the reported incident where a 10-year-old schoolgirl escaped from a man who tried to abduct her in his car.

The child, who said she was approached by a man while walking to school in Bray, was interviewed by gardai trained in dealing with child witnesses who have been through trauma.

Meanwhile, a group of Dublin mothers are warning others to be vigilant after a third reported abduction attempt in a matter of days.

Terrified

A group of girls aged between eight and 13 said they were terrified when they were approached by men in a car in the Foxdene estate in Clondalkin.

The girls reported that three men in a dark-coloured small car asked them to get into the vehicle late on Tuesday evening this week.

The eldest girl, aged 13, said that she immediately told all five children -- including one aged three -- to run.

They said that one of the men followed them but they managed to reach their home in time.

Distraught mum Elaine Whelan from the Foxdene estate said the girls were all terrified.

"The kids came in to me panicking," she said. "They're still shook up -- they won't leave the house. They're hardly sleeping.

"They wouldn't go down to the school until I spoke to the principal. He said he was going to have an assembly and putting word out among parents."

Elaine said that she rang the gardai immediately after the girls told her what had happened.

"It's just crazy. If it had have been smaller kids I don't know what could have happened," she said.

"It's scary when it happens on your own doorstep."

The mum of eight said she was very proud of her daughter for taking the initiative.

Elaine has been speaking with other women in the area and they are putting together a plan of action.

Leaflet

"We're getting a leaflet done up -- we want to make other parents aware of what's going on," she said. "If we had known, we would have been more alert."

"We just can't let them out of our sight now."

A separate incident was reported in the Pineview, Aylesbury area of Tallaght last week where it was reported that a hooded man had chased a child after she fled.

The man was watching the schoolgirl walking across the road from St Maelruin's Abbey to Aylesbury.

However, it is not believed that these three incidents are in any way related.

And gardai have reassured parents, telling them not to panic, and said they were constantly reviewing CCTV and conducting enquiries into the alleged attempts.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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