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Girl (16) 'raped and mugged' in laneway attack

A TEENAGE boy has been quizzed over the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl in a laneway.

The young girl is said to be traumatised by the incident and was examined at the Sexual Assault Unit at Dublin's Rotunda Hospital.

The alleged incident took place in a narrow laneway in Arklow, Co Wicklow, around 7pm on Tuesday.

Gardai were initially called to the scene after the girl reported that she had been mugged by a group of teens.

However, specialist garda investigators were then called in to interview the girl after she told her mother she was the victim of a sexual assault.

It is understood that the girl and boy are known to each other and both are from the Arklow area. Gardai have arrested a 14-year-old boy as part of their investigations.

They will also seek to interview other young people who were in the area at the time.

Sources last night told the Herald that the girl will be questioned again by specialist gardai later today.

The laneway was cordoned off late on Tuesday night and did not re-open until yesterday morning after gardai had forensically examined the area.

It is understood officers were examining the area for a mobile phone among other items.

A source said gardai were following a definite line of inquiry.

The laneway runs parallel to an all-boys primary school and is understood to be well-lit and frequently used by local people in the town as a shortcut.

Councillor Peter Dempsey said people had expressed their horror as reports of the alleged attack emerged.

"When something like this happens it's always going to come as a shock to anybody. People are shocked by what they're hearing because they don't expect it in a town like Arklow," said Mr Dempsey.

"It's normally very quiet. We don't get anything like this," he said.

The area was cordoned off when the alarm was raised at around 8pm and did not reopen until around 9am on Tuesday.

Many parents use the lane to take their children to and from the nearby school, though it is much quieter late at night.

There are another two schools in the area, which was described as well built-up and highly populated.

"There is shock in the community that an alleged incident as serious as this could happen," another local councillor added.