Students living in terror after alleged rape at UCD

by Gazette Reporter

STUDENTS at Dublin’s largest university are living in fear after the alleged rape of a young woman on campus last week.
Gardai are investigating an alleged serious sexual assault on the UCD student in the early hours of Friday as she was walking home from a night out.
The student made a complaint after she alleged she was assaulted while walking through Belfield.
UCD’s student union posted a warning on their social media pages urging vigilance and reminding students that a “Walk Safe” programme was in operation.
However, no reference was made to the woman’s alleged assault.
The Walk Safe service allows students who feel under threat to contact college security who will then escort them to their destination on campus.
The alleged attack took place less a week after 18-year-old student Kym Owens was found unconscious at Maynooth University.
Ms Owens suffered horrific head injuries when she was attacked in the town after getting off a bus from Monaghan last Sunday week.
She remains in hospital almost two weeks after the attack. Gardai have appealed for witnesses to the attack, which is believed to have happened around 8.30pm.
There is no suggestion that the two incidents are linked.
In relation to the alleged Belfield incident, a spokesperson for An Garda Siochana confirmed: “Gardai are investigating an alleged assault that occurred at UCD on Thursday, November 24.”
Second year History and Politics student Hazel Nolan (19) told The Gazette that she doesn’t feel safe walking around the UCD campus at night.
She said: “I think that the Walk Safe service is a step in the right direction, but the fact that we even need one is awful.”
Hazel said that she is “always scared” when she has to walk to the bus stop after staying late in college, and said that it is “too dark” around the lake, where it is alleged that the incident occurred.
Echoing Hazel’s words, Law student Claire O’Sullivan (20) said she was shocked by the news.
She said: “When I first heard about it, I was hoping it was just a rumour. To think that something like this could happen on the UCD campus terrifies me.
“You see these types of awful stories all over the internet, but you still hope and naively assume nothing like that could happen so close to you.”
Claire said that she had never really thought about her safety on campus at night until now.
She added: “During exam season, I’ll often stay in the library late and walk to the bus stop on my own without even thinking there would be a possibility anything could happen to me.
“I’m definitely going to be more cautious now.”

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