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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Gardaí trawl CCTV in Ballsbridge rape probe

Stock photo
Stock photo

Ryan Nugent and Ken Foy

Gardaí investigating the alleged rape of a young woman in Ballsbridge are trawling through CCTV footage in a bid to establish the whereabouts of a car she was travelling in.

The incident occurred on Saturday night after the woman left a Christmas party in a Ballsbridge hotel.

No arrests have been made as gardaí continue with an exhaustive trawl of CCTV footage from all over the city.

The woman has told detectives she got a taxi from the hotel, but got out of this vehicle after she became unwell.

She believes she got into another taxi in the Dublin 4 locality - but gardaí are still working to establish whether the vehicle she got into was a genuine taxi.

She was reportedly raped three times in this vehicle between 12.43am and 2.14am on Sunday morning.

The woman - who is in her 20s - ended up in the Mountjoy Square area in Dublin's north inner city. Gardaí are continuing to appeal to people who may have seen her there to contact them.

In a separate investigation, gardaí investigating a complaint that a well-known sports star raped a woman are believed to have identified the hotel where the attack is alleged to have occurred.

It was initially believed the attack occurred in a city centre hotel, with gardaí from Pearse Street investigating.

However, it has since been established the alleged offence happened in an upmarket hotel in the south of the city in the early hours of Monday morning.

Gardaí in Blackrock are now leading the probe, and it's understood a forensic examination of the suite where the incident is alleged to have happened has occurred.

Although a formal statement has not yet been made by the woman, it's understood this is a live investigation with CCTV being checked and examinations being conducted.

The sports star at the centre of the investigation has not been questioned yet as the woman has not yet given a statement. She did attend a sexual assault unit, and her clothing is being examined by gardaí who believe they have established a timeline of sorts for the night in question.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) says more resources for required for sexual assault units in hospital.

CEO Noeline Blackwell says the DRCC is facing into a busy festive period.

"At this time of year we are likely to be very busy over the Christmas period with people who will never go to the guards but will have been harmed, really harmed by somebody else raping them," she said.

She described a number of recent incidents of rape in Dublin as "extremely scary" and "shouldn't be happening" but pointed out that the majority of victims are raped by people they know.

The DRCC said its helplines would be available throughout the Christmas period for anyone who needed to contact them.

The 24-hour helpline is 1800 77 8888.

Irish Independent

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