Saturday 25 June 2016

Gardaí identify suspect in south Dublin sex attacks

Published 15/02/2016 | 02:30

One attack took place close to Shankill Dart station. Photo: Collins
One attack took place close to Shankill Dart station. Photo: Collins

A chief suspect has been identified by gardaí following four sexual assaults on women in South Dublin.

Since last December, there have been four reported sex attacks - three in Shankill and another on Military Road, Killiney - and at least a further two suspicious approaches made in the area.

After the latest attacks, the Garda helicopter was deployed and undercover gardaí were brought into the investigation.

Read More: Shankill store offers free 'rape' alarms for residents following attempted sex assaults

Despite two separate attacks last December, followed by two more last week, gardaí did not issue any description of the attacker.

This is in keeping with an apparent policy of not issuing warnings to the public, for reasons that are unclear.

Sources have now told the Irish Independent that a suspect has been identified but not yet arrested.

Read More: Gardai investigate attack on woman near busy DART station

Asked to explain why the public were not given a description of the attacker last December, the Garda Press Office explained: "At that point, for investigative and operational reasons, a decision was made based on the information available to gardaí not to issue an appeal in respect of these incidents.

"The Shankill community policing unit regularly informs and liaises with the local community in relation to matters around personal safety.

"Some five weeks later, two incidents of a similar crime category occurred on February 9 and 10. At this juncture a public appeal was issued by An Garda Síochána."

It added: "At all times, An Garda Síochána are mindful of the necessity to preserve the integrity of the investigation and to respect the privacy of all victims of crime, particularly where the offences are of a sexual nature."

Investigations

"The investigations into these incidents are continuing and a large number of calls have been received by the incident room in Shankill Garda Station, which have assisted the investigations," the Garda Press Office said.

The first incident, on December 2, took place close to Shankill Dart Station.

The second occurred on January 3, near the entrance of the Holly Park housing estate.

Two further assaults were reported on February 9 and 10, on Quinn's Road and Military Road near Killiney.

Meanwhile, two suspicious approaches in the area were also reported on January 20 and February 7.

Irish Independent

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