A YOUNG man has been arrested by gardai investigating the violent rape of a teenage girl just metres from a church.
The man, in his early 20s, was arrested yesterday and taken to Mallow Garda Station in Cork for questioning.
He was detained by officers investigating a violent sex attack on a 17-year-old girl who was assaulted in the Rathgoggin area of Charleville in north Cork.
The attack took place on Sunday, July 5 and occurred just 300m from the main Charleville church. The teen had been out socialising and earlier attended a birthday party in the north Cork town.
She was on her own when she was attacked from behind and dragged into a secluded area.
She was then subjected to a serious sexual assault. Her attacker fled on foot.
Friends and family became worried about her when she failed to arrive home at the scheduled time. They immediately launched a search for the girl.
The teen was later discovered not far from the area where the attacked took place in an injured and very distraught state.
The distressed teen was able to offer gardai an outline of what had happened before she was taken to the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) for care at the specialist sexual assault treatment unit.
She is now receiving ongoing medical care and counselling.
Charleville and Mallow gardai launched a major manhunt for the attacker.
A detailed forensic analysis of the scene was carried out, householders and pedestrians in the area were traced and interviewed while detectives conducted an exhaustive trawl of CCTV security camera footage from all business premises in the area.
It is understood the CCTV footage proved vital to the garda probe.
Gardai also appealed for public assistance for their investigation.
The arrest was made at an address in Cork early yesterday morning after Mallow gardai confirmed they were now following a definite line of inquiry.
The young man was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows him to be questioned for up to 24 hours.
He must then either be released or charged.
Gardai under Supt Pat McCarthy are now preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The Charleville community remains deeply shocked by the attack and in particular, the violence used on the teen.