Tuesday 6 December 2016

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

Jane O'Faherty

Published 12/02/2016 | 22:24

Shanhill Dart Station Dublin.
Pic Steve Humphreys
11th February 2016.
Shanhill Dart Station Dublin. Pic Steve Humphreys 11th February 2016.

A Shankill technology repair service says it has an “endless” amount of free personal alarms for anxious residents, following the confirmation of four attempted sex assaults in the area.

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Daniel Devlin and Richie Morrison, Managing Directors of High Tech Spec, first advertised 50 free 'rape' alarms via a Facebook post.

However, Daniel said that he would provide as many as needed.

“We have an endless supply of alarms,” he said.

“For the people who come into the shop, we are giving them two alarms maximum,” he added. “But all are welcome to come in and get them.”

High Tech Spec took the decision following a week of upheaval both online and in the Shankill area, as locals fear a sex attacker may be on the loose.

“There was a lot of concern in the area. People were protesting outside the garda station on one of the nights,” Daniel said.

“It’s been going crazy at the moment,” he added. “We felt we had to give something back.”

The Facebook post has since attracted hundreds of likes, and Daniel says it had an immediate effect.

“The minute we put up the post, we had two ladies pop in to get alarms,” he said. “It’s a great thing to see.”

The alarms on offer from High Spec Tech are small plastic units that fit on a key ring. The alarms feature a ring-pull, which trigger an ear-piercing sound when pulled.

The alarm is only switched off when the user re-inserts the ring-pull, Daniel explained.

“It’s extremely discreet,” he added. “You can hold it in your hand, so if a guy jumps on you, you can pull the alarm and get help.”

It comes just a day after Shankill gardai held a public meeting with community members, revealing that four alleged sex attacks had taken place nearby in recent months.

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.

Gardai have set up a full-time incident room in Shankill Dart Station in response to the incidents, but have not yet released a description of the suspected perpetrator or perpetrators.

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