'My brave girl (8) fled from pervert'
Man tried to abduct schoolgirl near home in Wicklow earlier this week
Published 19/06/2014 | 08:12
GARDAI and locals in north Wicklow are looking for a man who tried to abduct an eight-year-old girl right outside her family home.
Last Monday, the little girl was walking to school, which is only a few metres from her family home in Greystones, when a man in a white van pulled up beside her and asked her to get in.
She refused to get in and arrived at school shortly afterwards to tell her teachers.
Aside from being a “little stressed from all the attention,” she is doing well now, her father said.
"We live 200 yards from the school. The incident occurred alongside it," he told the Irish Mirror.
"Our initial reaction was someone was playing a practical joke but as the phone call progressed we realised it did happen.
"She gave a good description to gardai.
"We're just glad she knew what to do and she is very brave. We are not the story his actions are and it shoul be focused on him."
He thanked both the school and the gardai for their help.
“She’s fine. She’s from a good and decent family,” said neighbour and local Sinn Fein councillor Nicola Lawless.
“Greystones gardai are on the ball and they’re putting up information around safety since it happened,” she said.
“The community guards are getting calls in, reporting sightings and they are taking them very seriously,” she added.
Last Monday morning, at approximately 8.40am, a white long-base panel van pulled up alongside the girl in Kenmare Heights in Greystones.
The man is described as being in his mid-30s with a British accent and tanned skin. He is of slim build and was wearing blue jeans and a black T-shirt.
Friends and locals have had a photo-fit drawn up and it is being circulated online and in the community.
“Everyone is very well clued in and in this case social media is a good tool. People have a good idea of what the person possibly could look like,” said Ms Lawless.
While parents in the seaside town are not hysterical they are on high alert, explained the councillor.
“The primary school is smack bang in the middle of the housing estate and there’s also an isolated laneway,” she added.
She urged people to remain vigilant.
Another neighbour said the little girl was “practically outside her own home,” when the incident occurred.
Gardai said they are investigating the matter and that no arrests have been made.