A MAJOR garda alert is in place because one of Ireland's most notorious rapists is due to be released from prison in the coming days.
Niall Healy (37) will be freed after serving a ten-year sentence for sexually assaulting and falsely imprisoning a woman he offered to drive home.
A special policing plan has been formulated to manage Healy, who has indicated that he plans to live in the Dublin 2 area of the capital when he is released later this week.
Healy is considered to be one of the country's most dangerous predators against women and before his conviction in 2006, he was previously convicted of a rape in 1993.
As part of the terms of the Sex Offenders' Register, Healy had to provide gardai with details of where he would be living upon his release from jail and he has indicated he will be staying in accommodation close to Dublin city centre.
Healy, who has previous addresses in Clondalkin and Ballyfermot, is considered a "high grade sex offender" who was given a 20-year jail sentence with ten years suspended.
During his trial in 2006, it emerged that the then 19-year-old victim met Healy early on July 20, 2001, at a housing estate in a Co Kildare town.
She was looking for the home of a female friend when he approached her and claimed to be the woman's brother.
He gave her his mobile phone to contact her boyfriend, who advised her to go back to her own home as he was tired and had to get up early for work.
Healy also spoke briefly to her boyfriend and agreed to drive the woman home but he later parked by a canal and sexually assaulted her.
She struggled to get out of the car, activating her phone in the process and was followed by Healy, he then tried to force her to perform oral sex on him.
The victim's boyfriend gave evidence during the trial of hearing his girlfriend screaming in the voicemail messages left on his mobile phone.
The court heard that at the time the offence was committed Healy was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Judge Barry White suspended half of the 20-year sentences on condition Healy avails of a sex offenders' programme in prison and makes himself amenable to probation upon release.
But The Herald can reveal that since being jailed, Healy was caught with an illegal mobile phone on two occasions while behind bars which resulted in him serving extra jail time.
The rapist would have been freed before Christmas if he had not received consecutive sentences for the illegal possession of the mobile phones.
Last January, he brought a High Court challenge aimed at reversing a decision to transfer him from Arbour Hill to Wheatfield Prison.
Healy claimed that as a result of being moved, he was unable to complete a psychological treatment programme for those convicted of sexual crimes.
Sources say that a specialist senior garda will be appointed to manage Healy when he is released before the weekend.