Monday 17 June 2019

'People are shocked and scared' - investigation after young woman allegedly raped on St Stephen's night out

Gardai in Castlebar are investigating the alleged rape of a young woman
Photo: Google Maps
Gardai in Castlebar are investigating the alleged rape of a young woman Photo: Google Maps

Tom Shiel and Laura Lynott

Gardai investigating the alleged rape of a young woman in a Co Mayo town are examining CCTV footage from the area.

The alleged victim - who is in her 20s - told gardai she was raped the early hours of Thursday morning, after leaving a St Stephen’s night event in Castlebar nightclub.

A relative, who had been scheduled to pick her up after the night out, went with her to Castlebar Garda Station.

The young woman was in a distressed state as she recounted what had happened to her. 

Gardai carried out a forensic examination in a laneway on Lucan Street, Castlebar.

There are a number of businesses located nearby and gardai are hopeful CCTV footage might assist them in their investigation.

It’s believed officers have already obtained CCTV footage from the club where the woman was socialising earlier in the night.

The victim was examined at the sexual assault unit in Galway city and gardai took a full statement from the woman.

It’s believed gardai are following a definite line of enquiry.

Councillor Michael Kilcoyne appealed to the community to stand together and report anything they may have seen or heard to investigating gardai.

“People are shocked and scared in Castlebar,” Cllr Kilcoyne said. 

“This is Christmas and a young woman went out on Stephen’s night.

“This is meant to be a happy, enjoyable time of year for young people and now it’s turned into something else, something frightening.

“I urge the public, local businesses, anyone with CCTV footage from the area, or who has witnessed anything unusual around the relevant times, to contact gardai.

Cllr Kilcoyne said the community was “thinking of the young woman” in the aftermath of the rape but that the “best way” to assist was to report anything of interest to gardai immediately.

Separately, the director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, Cliona Saidlear, said it was vital that victims of rape and sexual assault are aware “all the services are there and available over Christmas and the New Year.”

“You don’t have to wait to report rape or sexual assault at this time of year,” she added.

“Ring the guards, Rape Crisis, and all the Sexual Assault Treatment Units are open.

“All services are available 24 hours.”

  • If you have been affected by any of the issue raised in this article you can contact the Rape Crisis Centre on their 24 Hour Helpline on 1800 778888 or visit www.rapecrisishelp.ie

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