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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Councillor is punched in the face in attempted mugging as he looks for taxi in city centre

Laura Larkin

Published 27/07/2015 | 07:30

Noel Rock
Noel Rock

A councillor was assaulted in Dublin city centre during an attempted mugging.

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Noel Rock, a Fine Gael city councillor for Glasnevin and Drumcondra, was walking opposite the Gate Theatre, looking for a taxi, when a man assaulted him from behind at around 1.30am on Saturday.

"He punched me in the side of the face," Mr Rock told the Herald.

"I had a laptop bag with me and when I turned around he motioned for the bag.

"I backed away and said, 'What are you doing?' and he said, 'You grinned at me'.

"He tried to lunge at me again and I told him where to go.

"I ended up walking out into the middle of the street to flag a taxi.

"I hopped into one that was half-full of people and I just said, 'This guy is drunk or high or something', and asked the driver to take me a few yards up the road."

The recently declared general election candidate said he was left relatively unharmed in the assault, but has some bruising along his jaw.

Doctors have requested that he goes for a CT scan when the swelling around his ear goes down, as a precautionary measure.

At the time of the incident there was nothing in his laptop bag except canvassing leaflets.

"I'm sure even my most fervent supporter would have been disappointed with a bag full of my literature," he said.

Mr Rock reported the incident to gardai, but he said that although there was limited CCTV in the area, he fears it is unlikely the attacker will be tracked down.

He is calling for more CCTV in the area around Dorset Street and Parnell Square.

"There have been a lot of violent assaults in the area recently, I've known that since before this happened," he said.

"It's clear that if there are going to be aggressive crimes, then we need to employ equally aggressive measures to tackle them.

"I'm a young man walking a short distance at night. If I can't feel safe, who can?

"More needs to be done to ensure people's personal safety in that area as it is only a matter of time before something serious happens.

"We are seeing a rise in randomised violence, and I'm sure there are a great many people who are victims of it and who are not reporting it to the gardai.

"I'm lucky in that all I have is a bruised jaw and a bruised ego," he said.

The incident happened not far from where Dublin GAA star Johnny Cooper was stabbed after a night out last September.

That attack took place on Dorset Street.

Herald

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