Parents warned to be ‘vigilant’ after man follows young girls

by Rebecca Ryan

Parents are being warned to be extra vigilant after two 12-year old girls were followed and filmed by a man in Dun Laoghaire.

At around 2pm last Thursday, the two young girls bought a bag of chips on George’s Street lower and noticed a man, described in his 20s, looking “oddly” at them and followed them to a local supermarket.

One of the girl’s mam, Mrs O’Leary, told Dublin Gazette what happened and said the girls were shaken by the incident.

“[My daughter and her friend] went to Dun Laoghaire and were sitting on the wall outside of St Michael’s hospital having a bag of chips.

“This guy walked past with a backpack. He had his phone pointing towards them and was recording them as he was walking past.

“My daughter noticed it and said it to her friend. “Then they said he walked on a bit and stopped and looked at his phone and looked back at them. He then ducked in behind a van.

“So, they decided to move from there and they went into Bloomfields Shopping Centre and went into Tesco.

“They didn’t see him following them until they were at the checkout and they saw him hiding behind a pillar. He had followed them in, and he was watching them.

“At this stage they were freaked out and went and spoke to the security guards.

“The guy just walked out then because he saw them talking to the security guard.”

Mrs O’Leary said her daughter rang her to tell her what happened. She met them immediately and drove around with them but said they “couldn’t spot him anywhere”.

They reported the incident to gardai who took a statement and told them they would look at CCTV footage.

Mrs O’Leary said the girls were left shaken after the incident.

“They were freaked out. My daughter said she wanted to just burst into tears because she was getting scared,” she said.

Local Facebook group Johnstown Residents Association gave a description of the man, saying: “He was about 5”8’ wearing a black jacket, grey baggy trousers, white back pack and he had a small beard. Phone looked like a grey Samsung.

“Any sightings please contact Dun Laoghaire gardai at 01 6665000.”

Many locals were relieved to hear the girls were ok.

“Glad the girls went to the security guard and stayed safe,” one wrote online.

“… that’s awful poor girls must have got an awful fright,” said another. “… poor kids what a horrible experience,” commented another.

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