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Race rape of girl (16)

GARDAI were today searching for three white boys after the horrific rape of a black teenager.

The girl (16) was attacked for more than an hour in the shocking incident.

Three teenage boys and a white girl are being sought in connection with the rape, gardai said.

The investigation is taking place against a background of an increasing number of reported sex crimes.

In a separate incident, a woman in her 20s was savagely sexually assaulted in a park in north Dublin by two men.

No arrests have been made so far.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre announced that it received 12,000 calls last year which included more than 3,300 first-time callers.

Several days earlier, the teenage black girl was attacked in Athlone.

The girl's ordeal, on November 15, lasted for around an hour before she managed to escape.

On Monday a Dublin woman was attacked at Riverside Park, Coolock, shortly after 2am.

It is understood she may have been followed by her attackers after attending a local nightclub.

The woman who suffered severe internal injuries is said to be "deeply traumatised" after the rape and was unable to give gardai a full description of her attackers.

However it is understood gardai stopped two men close to the scene on Monday morning and these men -- who are also believed to live in the locality -- are now the main focus of the investigation.

Searches were carried out yesterday morning by detectives investigating the attack and a garda source said that "progress is being made in this investigation".







Distress

The scene of the rape -- a park beside the Northside Shopping Centre -- was preserved and sealed off for a full forensic examination, which took place on Monday.

"We are hopeful that this matter can be brought to a successful conclusion," a garda source told the Herald. Residents in Riverside Road, beside the stretch of park where the attack took place, say the victim of the assault is believed to be a local woman who had been attending a nightclub not far from where she was assaulted.

"The poor woman ran from the park after the attack at around 2.15am and she was banging on doors along the road and somebody let her in because she was in such distress," said one woman.

"She was trying to put her trousers and underwear back on and she was very distressed. It was two men that attacked her we heard," she added.

Locals say it is the third such attack to happen in the park in the past few years.

"I wouldn't walk in there at night. You might think you are safe enough because you are near rows of houses, but you are anything but safe," one young local woman told the Herald.

Meanwhile in a separate investigation, gardai in Athlone, Co Westmeath, have issued an appeal for information after a 16-year-old black girl was raped after she was attacked by a group of white teenagers, which included another girl. The rape occurred last Tuesday, November 15, at an area known locally as Monksland on the old Tuam Road. The girl's ordeal lasted for around an hour, before she managed to escape.

Gardai said the rape occurred when the victim was dragged into an area behind a wall at Monksland, between the Ceathru na Gloc housing estate and the Monksland community centre.

Teenagers

It is unclear if the girl knew any of the group of four teenagers, although gardai are hopeful she will be able to identify them. The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre today warned that further Government cuts would compromise its service.

The organisation's chief executive, Ellen O'Malley Dunlop, said the organisation had experienced reductions of €320,000 since 2008 -- and there could be more.


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