Calls for more garda patrols after attack

Simon Brouder

International students living in the Maine Street area say they have been left shaken and terrified after a shocking knife attack on one of their classmates on Monday afternoon.

At around 4.30pm on Monday a young international student who is living in shared accommodation on Maine Street returned to their apartment to find a burglar lurking inside.

The shocked young Institute of Technology Tralee student confronted the man who then produced a knife and pinned the student to the wall and threatened them while holding the blade to his victim's throat.

The knife wielding burglar eventually fled the scene and the frightened student contacted gardaí who arrived on the scene quickly and in large numbers.

Following an extensive garda search a man in his thirties was arrested in connection with the incident two hours later in a nearby property.

The suspect in the attack was identified by several students who had encountered him in the area on several occasions in recent weeks.

Maine Street is home to numerous international students several of whom told The Kerryman that Monday's appalling attack had left their closeknit group deeply shocked, scared and frightened in their homes.

The concerned students said that a number of their friends have previously been threatened or harassed by the man suspected of carrying out the attack and that his intimidating behaviour had been reported to gardaí on numerous occasions.

While relieved that the attacker has been arrested the students - along with other local residents - have said that they would like to see more regular garda patrols in the area.

The suspect is well known to people living in the area and has previously been seen trying to break into another apartment block adjacent to where Monday's incident occurred.

On that occasion he was chased from the complex by residents who found him in the courtyard before he was able to access any of the individual apartments.

The victim of the attack - who was unhurt but is extremely traumatised - is being comforted by friends.

As The Kerryman went to press the arrested man remained in custody at Tralee Garda Station where he had been detained for questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.