Gardaí are to address a public meeting in Shankill, Dublin on Thursday night amid growing concern over a series of alleged attacks on women in the area.
Three attempted sexual assaults have been reported since December and are said to have occurred near the Dart station in Shankill between 4.30pm and 10pm. The incidents were described locally as attempted attacks and nobody is believed to have been seriously hurt.
The public meeting on the matter is to take place at Shanganagh Park House at 7pm.
Gardaí issued an appeal on Thursday for information “in relation to a number of reports of alleged sexual assaults on females”.
“In each case a lone male approached a lone female and an assault took place,” gardaí said in a statement. “A number of statements have been taken and numerous lines of enquiry are currently being conducted together with CCTV and house to house enquiries.”
The incidents prompted a protest by local residents at Shankill Garda station on Wednesday.
Speaking about the attacks, Fine Gael’s Cllr Maria Bailey said “obviously it unnerves me”.
“We haven’t had a situation like this before in Shankill. It’s a very young population and there are a lot of kids in the area coming up from the train station,” the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown councillor said.
Ms Bailey said one of the reported incidents involved a young family. A mother and child were walking and appeared to have been approached from behind by a suspicious man. The father, who was walking a distance behind with their other child, managed to alert her and the man fled the scene.
“We have had three attacks or attempted attacks. Everyone is kind of on high alert,” she added.
On the “Scan Shankill” Facebook page, a local forum, a woman reported being the subject of an attempted assault on January 3rd.
She said she was walking past the Dart station at about 7pm when she spotted a suspicious man aged in his 40s. He attempted to drag her into trees and assault her but she managed to escape, the woman wrote.
“I am very lucky to be pretty much unharmed. I’ve reported it straight to the guards who are taking my statements today.”
Gardaí are asking any witnesses or people with information to contact them at Shankill station on (01)6665900, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.