Wednesday 24 July 2019

Now rape-claim revelation rocks Oxegen organisers

Edel Kennedy

GARDAI are investigating an allegation that a young woman was raped at the Oxegen concert.

It has emerged the woman made a formal complaint to Naas gardai after the concert took place at Punchestown in July.

Gardai confirmed they were investigating the incident but declined to give any further details.

"We are pursuing one case," a spokesman said.

The concert's promoters, MCD, did not return any calls; however they had released a statement on the allegation earlier.

"Gardai are investigating the alleged sexual assault and MCD will provide any assistance that may be required to aid such an investigation," it read.

The latest revelations come after the Irish Independent disclosed that a number of fans had feared for their lives while staying at the concert campsites.

They alleged tents were set on fire, that bystanders suffered unprovoked attacks and that there was a lack of security guards on hand to deal with any trouble.

Sophie Merry, who camped with her boyfriend Brian McCafferty, said she would never return. "I feared for my life when we were there," she said.

"If my boyfriend hadn't been there I wouldn't have stayed in the tent with another girl. We wouldn't have been safe . . . It was like a third-world country."

Niall Power, a DJ on South East regional station Beat FM, said his group of friends left early because of the trouble. Despite being with a group of 12 people in their mid-to-late 20s, Mr Power said they were too scared to hang around.

"We left everything and got out at five on Monday morning because it was so dangerous," he said.

There were 50 arrests and 370 drug seizures during the two-day event. A further 36 people were treated for alcohol or drug-related injuries.

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