Suspects in rape gang case are all closely related
The chief suspects in a horrific rape case in west Dublin may all be from the same family, it has emerged.
The violent attack occurred last Thursday as the victim was making her way home from a local garage. Gardaí have so far arrested two people in relation to the incident, but fear one of the suspects is in hiding.
It has now emerged that the three chief suspects in the brutal attack may all be closely related to one another.
The men, who live in the west Dublin area, are known to gardaí but are not considered to be major criminals.
Despite investigating gardaí following a definite line of inquiry, they have not been able to locate one of the suspects and fear that he is in hiding.
"Detectives called to his home on Friday but he wasn't there. He wasn't spotted over the weekend and it appears that he has fled the area," a local source said.
"A number of online threats have also been issued, with local criminals threatening to kill the men involved," the source added.
The threats have been directed at the perpetrators since the morning of the attack, and it is understood the names of individuals suspected of involvement were shared on social media.
Gardaí have received a massive response from the public since issuing their appeal for information on the brutal attack. That, combined with the gardaí's own detective work, led to the two arrests.
Two men aged in their late teens and early 20s were arrested by gardaí and questioned at Lucan Garda Station over the weekend, before being released without charge. It is understood the victim of the attack, who is in her 30s, was returning home after stopping at a local petrol station to buy groceries.
She was pushing her bicycle along the footpath away from the direction of Clondalkin village when she was allegedly grabbed by three men. It's now known that one of the men raped her.
Though the woman was threatened at knifepoint during her ordeal, there is no indication the weapon was used on her.
The victim did not know her attackers. After raising the alarm herself, the woman was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in the Rotunda Hospital. On Friday morning gardaí from the technical bureau recovered the victim's bicycle from the scene.
A running shoe and other items were also collected for forensic examination. Specialist gardaí from the Clondalkin district will interview her further about the attack.
It is expected that gardaí will establish more details about the incident during this interview.
Gardaí are continuing to appeal for witnesses to contact them at Ronanstown Garda Station on (01) 666 7700.