CCTV footage key after woman (50s) found assaulted and unconscious on castle grounds
A woman is in a serious condition in hospital after being assaulted and left unconscious on the grounds of a castle in Co Carlow.
Gardaí were alerted to the scene after a local business owner made the discovery in the picturesque location of Pollerton Castle near the centre of Carlow town.
The woman, in her 50s, was taken to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny and is described as being in a serious condition. The scene was preserved for a technical examination and gardaí are trawling CCTV footage to try to identify a suspect.
The man who discovered the unconscious woman told the Irish Independent that he was still in shock.
"I was told not to comment on what I had seen, but I just hope that this woman is OK.
"We're all very shocked here," he said.
Gardaí hope images from the castle's CCTV footage will help their investigation.
Local councillor Jim Deane said he was very distressed by the news.
"I haven't heard a whole lot about what happened, but many people around the town are talking about this awful incident.
"Whatever the circumstances are it's truly a horrific thing to have happened. The castle is located in a very beautiful area of Carlow and is not too far away from the main town."
Cllr Deane said he hoped gardaí would bring swift justice to whoever was responsible for the assault.
"It's a very distressing situation for everyone. I hope this poor, unfortunate girl who is the victim of this assault makes a speedy recovery.
"I also hope gardaí will bring the person who did this to her to justice fast."
The local councillor added that an assault of this type was "unheard of" in the Pollerton area of Carlow.
Investigating gardaí are currently appealing for anyone who was in the area in the early hours of yesterday to contact them.
A statement from gardaí read: "Gardaí wish to appeal for witnesses and in particular to anyone who travelled on Staplestown Road, St Patrick's Avenue or Pollerton Road between the hours of 2am and 5am to contact them.
"In addition, gardaí are appealing to any drivers of vehicles that may have travelled these roads between the above times and have footage from dash cams to contact them at Carlow garda station on 059-9136620, the Garda confidential telephone line 1800 666 111 or any garda station."