Wednesday 21 February 2018

Rapist behind shocking Clondalkin park attack 'might be hard to trace' after fears he's fled

The scene in Clondalkin
The scene in Clondalkin
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A man who gardai believe was responsible for the shocking rape of a Dublin mum in Clondalkin is currently on the run, they fear.

A man in his teens and another man in his early 20s who were arrested in the early hours of last Friday morning in relation to the attack have since been released without charge.

However, the hunt continues for a man gardai say was one of three thugs who pulled the woman over a low wall at knifepoint and into the bushes at the edge of a park on the Ninth Lock Road at around 3.15am on Thursday morning last.

Gardai received a massive response from the public after they issued an appeal for information following the brutal attack.

That combined with the gardai's own detective work led to two arrests, and while local sources say the gardai are confident of identifying the culprits they have still to arrest "a third man".

"The fear is he has fled following the attack and might be hard to trace as a result," a local source said.

The descriptions of the attackers that the traumatised victim was able to give gardai is that the men were all in the region of 5ft 8ins, spoke with Dublin accents, and were wearing dark-coloured clothes and hoodies.

It has emerged that the men who were arrested before being released were both out on bail for separate offences at the time of the brutal rape.

It has also emerged that the two men have around 30 convictions between them, but they are for minor theft and public order offences.

It is understood the victim of the attack, who is in her 30s, was returning home after stopping at a local petrol station to buy groceries.

She was pushing her bicycle along the footpath away from the direction of Clondalkin village after leaving the garage when she was grabbed by the three men. It's now known that one of the trio involved raped her.

Though the woman was threatened at knifepoint during her ordeal, there is no indication that the weapon was used on her.

The victim did not know her attackers. After raising the alarm herself the woman was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital.

On Friday morning gardai from the technical bureau recovered the victim's bicycle from the scene.

A running shoe and other items were also collected for forensic examination.

Specialist gardai from the Clondalkin district will interview her further about the attack.

It is expected that gardai will establish more details about the incident during this interview.

Investigating gardai are continuing to appeal for witnesses or for any person with information to contact them at Ronanstown Garda Station on 01 666 7700.

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