CHILDREN’S Minister Frances Fitzgerald has paid tribute to the “courage” shown by two young girls who were the victims of alleged rape in Athlone.
“What happened to two little girls in Athlone stopped us all in our tracks,” said Ms Fitzgerald.
“Lured away from a party and sexually abused. In the middle of the day.
“The terror. The suffering. The courage of the two of them, escaping afterward.”
She paid tribute to the swift actions of the gardai following the alleged incident which happened on Saturday, September 29.
A man has been charged in court in connection with the alleged attack.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of Rape Crisit Network Ireland’s report on Child Sexual Violence.
This report reveals that in 2012, Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs) and Children At Risk in Ireland (CARI) provided services for 192 minors, ranging in age from 4 to 17 years old.
It also shows that one third or 37pc of the perpetrators of sexual abuse against child survivors were under themselves 18 years old.