French police investigating alleged rape of Irish rugby fan in Bordeaux

Woman (37) reported to have been abducted by three attackers on Sunday

An Irish female rugby fan in Bordeaux for Ireland’s opening match against Romania was allegedly gang raped in the early hours of Monday morning.

French police are investigating the claims of the 37-year-old woman who was allegedly abducted by three men just after midnight along Rue de la Rousselle, which is in the busy Saint-Pierre district of old town Bordeaux.

The alleged abduction and rape occurred close to her accommodation, according to French media reports.

Thousands of Irish, Romanian, English and Welsh fans congregated in the district over the weekend as there are numerous bars and restaurants located within easy access by tram and bus.


The incident has been confirmed by French police and gardaí.

Four gardaí have been deployed to France for the duration of Ireland’s World Cup campaign and they are liaising with French police over the incident.

The woman has told the authorities she was abducted by three men and then taken to Rue du Puits Descazeaux.

In a police statement, the woman said that three men had raped her and fled the scene by foot. She was found lying on the street by Welsh rugby supporters. They brought her back to the apartment she was renting where neighbours contacted the police.

French police said in a statement they went to the apartment where they found the woman was in a “traumatised” state. She was taken to Bordeaux University Hospital for treatment and tests.

A victim support group, which is part of French incident protocols, known as personalised assessment of victims, has been assigned to help the victim.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said in a statement that it is “aware of the disturbing news emanating from Bordeaux regarding an incident involving an Irish supporter at the weekend.

“We are shocked and extend our deepest sympathies to the victim. The IRFU wants all fans to have a positive experience supporting the team in France and we urge all travellers to take care and look out for each other.”

A Garda spokesperson said that the Irish officers based in France for the tournament are “liaising” with local authorities in relation to the alleged rape. “The investigation is a matter for French police. An Garda Síochána has no further comment at this time,” they added.

Thousands of fans still remain in Bordeaux as they prepare to catch flights home or travel to Nantes for Ireland’s next game against Tonga on Saturday.

Norah McCann – who is originally from Fermanagh but travelled from London for last Saturday’s game – said she was “absolutely shocked” to hear of the alleged rape.

“The poor woman was just here to enjoy herself and support Ireland. It just goes to show you what can happen when a woman is on her own walking. It will send shock waves around all the fans. You have to be so careful and especially so when in a city you don’t know day or night.

“The atmosphere here has been brilliant and all the French in Bordeaux have been so accommodating and nice. There’s been no trouble up until now.”

Another fan, Julie Moynihan from Cork explained that she had heard “people talking in a cafe” about an Irish woman being allegedly raped.

“I didn’t think it was true. If it’s correct it is barbaric. I hope the French police do their best to find the men involved and bring them to justice.”

Ms Moynihan said she is staying in France for the match against Tonga and was making a holiday out of time in the country. “It really makes me think about my safety and that of my friends who are with me. We’ll be on our guard now and being honest I’m a bit nervous because of what’s happened.

“We’ll be extra vigilant, but it is really good to know that gardaí have been deployed to France to help fans when they need it.”