Friday 24 November 2017

'Poorly-lit areas did not cause the assaults, perpetrators did' - Dublin locals to march tonight in wake of sex assaults

Gardaí near the Bayview Estate in Killiney. Photo: Mark Condren Newsdesk Newsdesk

Residents in a south Dublin neighbourhood will take lead a march tonight in the wake of a string of sexual assaults in the area.

Organiser Emily Lyons (23) told she was moved to set up the march in the Killiney and Shankill area after hearing stories of women in her area being too afraid to walk late at night due to sexual attacks on women in the area.

Gardaí have been notified of the event while is set to kick off at 7.30pm at the Shankill Dart Station. The march will proceed to Killiney Dart Station.

Ms Lyons said local women have now been forced to change their daily routines out of the fear of being attacked.

Between December 2015 and and now at least four assaults on women were reported to gardai, while two suspicious approaches were also reported.

In recent weeks a woman in her 40s was also assaulted at the front of the Bayview housing estate.

Gardaí near the Bayview Estate in Killiney. Photo: Mark Condren
Gardaí near the Bayview Estate in Killiney. Photo: Mark Condren

"It is unacceptable that people have been attacked and that, as a further result of these attacks, people are altering their daily routines," Emily told the Bray People.

She said the attacks were having a knock-on effect in her community.

Speaking to recently, Ms Lyons said people "should be able to go for a run" in their own community without being afraid.

"I keep repeatedly hearing about people who won't walk home from the Dart station on their own and or won't go out exercising in the evening because they're scared," the Shankill resident said.

"I think you should be allowed to go for a walk anywhere in your community whether it's pitch dark [or not]. You should be able to go for a run."

"Overgrown bushes and poorly-lit areas did not cause the assaults, perpetrators did," she said, saying she was frustrated at measures being taken in the area which she felt shifted attention away from those responsible for the crimes.

"It just frustrated me to hear that these were like the solutions because it just diverts the blame.

"The march is in response to the fear that people feel and also to support the victims."

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