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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 17 November, 2018
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Mayo man (49) questioned over alleged rape of 75-year-old woman in Ennis

The alleged incident was reported to Gardaí on Thursday.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Sam Boal

GARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED a 49-year-old man from Co Mayo to question him about an alleged rape of a 75-year-old woman in Ennis last Thursday.

It is understood that the man lured the woman into his car under false pretences outside Ennis public library which is located opposite a secondary school for girls at around 11.30 on Thursday morning.

It is alleged that the man then brought the woman in his car to a car-park located behind Ennis Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre 1km away, where the alleged rape took place.

The woman did not know the alleged rapist and it will be alleged that he warned her in the aftermath of the alleged rape not to go to the Gardaí over what had taken place.

Later on Thursday, the alert was raised by the pensioner and Gardaí were able to identify the man’s car through Garda CCTV footage.

Arrest

Chief Superintendent of the Clare Garda Division, John Kerin has confirmed that a male has been arrested in relation to the alleged rape in Ennis and brought to a Garda Station in Co Mayo for questioning.

The man was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and Kerin confirmed that the man was released without charge on Saturday lunchtime and he stated that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the earliest opportunity.

Chief Superintendent Kerin said that gardaí are “not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation”.

Kerin declined to comment on the circumstances around the alleged rape for operational reasons.

On hearing details concerning the alleged rape, chairperson of the Clare Joint Policing Committee, Councillor Mary Howard said: “I am genuinely shocked to my core to hear about this.

I am heartbroken for the woman that something like this would happen to her at this stage of her life. I hope that she is getting all the support from the various services at this time.

Howard added: “What happened to this totally unsuspecting older lady was heinous and it is just unconscionable that someone would lure an elderly woman and carry out this horrendous crime against here.”

The Ennis-based member of Clare Co Council continued: “The circumstances in this case are quite unbelievable as there would be families with children going in and coming out of the leisure centre car-park at 11.30 in the morning.”

I’m devastated that someone would do this to an elderly lady – it is not a society that I want to be part of.

 “You hear of such crimes in big urban areas, but not here in the west of Clare and in one of the safest towns in Ireland where there is an extremely good Garda presence.”

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Gordon Deegan

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