Students told to travel in groups after city attack

Niall O'Connor

A DUBLIN college has issued a stark warning to its students to travel in groups at night following an assault in the area.

Dublin City University (DCU) has contacted its 11,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students last week urging them not to travel in the vicinity on their own.

The move was prompted by an incident that happened close to the college grounds in which two students were assaulted.

DCU is well known for the importance it places on security and has personnel patrolling the north Dublin campus 24-hours per day.

But in an email to students, seen by the Herald, the college's Students Union warns against travelling alone in the area.

"Following an incident in the last few weeks in the DCU vicinity, we want to ensure that all DCU students are safe when they are out and about in the area.

"Please remain vigilant when walking to or from DCU, especially in the evening or at night," said Students Union Welfare Officer Neil Patrick Collins.

"If you are travelling to or from DCU, do so in groups or at least with another person.

"If you have any worries or feel threatened, try and get to a place you feel safe, such as a shop, where you can wait for the threat to pass or where you can call for assistance. If you have any worries, contact DCU Security ... who work to ensure student safety," he added.

It's understood that two students were travelling along Collins Avenue – which runs just off the college – when they were set upon by a number of youths.

The DCU pair were left extremely shaken and contacted the college authorities. The incident prompted the Students' Union to issue the warning.

Speaking to the Herald, a DCU spokeswoman emphasised that incidents of this kind are "very infrequent".

"The security in DCU are doubly vigilant – they have to be. We have hundreds of thousands living on the campus grounds and hundreds more living nearby," she said.

"When this incident took place, it was seen as an opportune time to remind people to be vigilant and to take care of themselves. It's important to state that not many incidents of this nature happen around DCU. They are very infrequent."