Bachelors Walk and the River Liffey (C: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Man denied bail over “predatory” attack on foreign tourist (65) returning to Dublin Hotel

A 24-year-old man was on Wednesday denied bail for the “predatory” robbery of a tourist returning to her Dublin city centre hotel.

Dublin District Court heard details of the attack, which saw the 65-year old female tourist “dragged” on the ground into a laneway.  The vicious incident took place on Tuesday night around Bachelor’s Walk and Bachelor’s Way.

Rian Dunne (24) of Raheen Park in Ballyfermot, Dublin, was denied bail on Wednesday, after being charged with the offence.

Garda Patrick Hynes, objecting to bail, told the court that he had arrested the accused at Abbey Street, after the incident took place just after 9pm.

The garda told the court how the foreign tourist had been heading back to her accommodation in the city when the accused allegedly dragged her to the ground and down a laneway. He said that the accused had discarded her handbag and ran from the scene, adding that there was CCTV evidence which showed a “clear premeditated element to this incident”. He also said the accused had used force.

The defence disputed his claim that the accused had later identified himself in the CCTV footage. Solicitor for Mr Dunne, Andrew Walsh, said that the video evidence was not before the court at this stage, and that the complainant was not present at the hearing, which Mr Hynes agreed with.

The defence told the court that Mr Dunne disputes the allegations against him, arguing there was not enough evidence to refuse him bail. However, garda Hynes insisted that his objection to bail was in relation to the “predatory nature” of the alleged assault.

The judge said that the accused had the presumption of innocence, however refused him bail. He remanded Mr Dunne in custody to appear before Cloverhill District Court in Dublin next week.

The accused was granted legal aid, with the judge taking into account the fact he was unemployed.

The alleged incident follows an attack on three English tourists in the busy Temple Bar area of the city last weekend. The alleged attack on the tourists, who were enjoying a night out, was perpetrated by a gang of up to eight youths. A 16-year-old boy accused of “punching” and “stamping” on one of the tourists was on Tuesday remanded on bail, to appear before the Children’s Court on Monday.

The accused was ordered to stay out of Temple Bar and Dublin 2 by judge Patricia Cronin. Business owners in the Temple Bar area have voiced their worries about gangs of youths hanging around outside their premises, a garda witness told the court – adding they were afraid they would be threatened for bringing CCTV to the gardaí.

782 tourists have sought help so far this year after being victims of crime in Ireland, with the Irish Tourist Assistance Service this week warning of an “unprecedented” jump in the numbers seeking assistance.

The service said it had seen a ten per cent rise in the number of tourists accessing support compared to 2019. While 721 tourists sought help in 2019, the figure is already at 782, with four months left of the year.

The chief of the service, Lisa Kennedy, told Dublin Live that most of the incidents were theft-related, including “opportunistic” crimes which took place as tourists were out socialising, shopping, and visiting attractions with large crowds of people.

Following the assault of a New Yorker visiting the capital last month, US tourists visiting Dublin were told to keep their valuables safe, avoid walking alone after dark, and to “keep a low profile” to lower the chances of becoming victims of crime.

The US embassy in Dublin, in a security alert published on its website, told US nationals to exercise “good personal security practices while travelling” after “a number of recent incidents”.

The statement, which urges people to be “vigilant,” warns them that “pickpocketing, mugging, and ‘snatch and grab’ theft of mobile phones, watches and jewellery can occur. Keep a low profile”.

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