Credit: Irene Fox /

Family of alleged sexual assault victim told to remove ‘foreign nationals’ post by Gardai

The family of a woman who they say endured a terrifying sexual assault in Dungarvan late Saturday night, say they are angry and upset that Gardai asked them to take down a social media post informing other women that foreign nationals had been involved.

Speaking to Gript today, one family member said that concerns about identifying the attackers as non-Irish seemed to be more important than ensuring that other girls and women were aware that they may be in danger.

The woman’s family told Gript that the woman became momentarily separated from her partner while on the way home from a night out and was approached by a men who asked her for a light. They say that two men then seized her by the arms and dragged her into an alleyway where another man were waiting.

A member of the woman’s family told Gript that her screams alerted an older woman in a nearby house, who came out and interrupted the assault. The four men reportedly hit the older woman before running away when told the Gardai had been called.

Describing the assault as a “vicious attack” by a “gang”, the family member said that they had found the response of the Gardai to be “very upsetting”.

“We can’t understand it,” he said. “We were asked to take down a social media post where we had identified the attackers as foreign nationals, because no one has been arrested and women need to know this information.”

“We were asked by the Gardai why we said it was foreign men, and then asked to take the post down. Then we were asked not to talk about what had happened to anyone.”

“It seems all wrong, who is being protected here? [The victim] can’t sleep or eat, she is totally traumatised. Normally if there’s a serious crime anywhere it’s on the radio and descriptions are given and there’s an appeal for witnesses. But we’re being told to  say nothing.”

Another family member told Gript: “People need to know, it’ll happen to another girl if women don’t know who to look out for, everyone understands that. It’s why descriptions are given.”

“Thank God that women interrupted them,” she said. “We can’t even imagine what might have happened, it’s terrifying to think about.”

Gardai said today that they were investigating an alleged attempted assault that is reported to have occurred in Dungarvan on Sunday last, February 19th.

The statement adds that Gardaí are continuing to investigate all the circumstances of the incident and, as this is an ongoing investigation, no further information is available at this time.

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