Attempted child abduction outside St Mark’s GAA club
By Mary Dennehy
A TALLAGHT ten-year-old was last week the alleged target in an apparent abduction attempt, when a man tried to entice the youngster into his car under the pretence that he was a coach from a local GAA club.
The youngster, who is a juvenile member of St Mark’s GAA Club, was making his way to training through Alderwood Green in Springfield at around 5.50pm when a man in a dark car allegedly pulled up beside him.
According to Gary McMahon, the chairman of St Mark’s juvenile section, the man asked the young lad, who was carrying a hurley and helmet, if he was going training.
Mr McMahon said: “It was obvious that the youngster was going training and the man told him he was a coach with the club and to jump into the car and he’d drive him around.
“The lad knew that something was up and didn’t recognise the man’s face.
“The man did make an attempt to get out of the car, but the young lad just ran and called into a family member’s home on the estate.”
He added: “The juvenile section of St Mark’s sent a text out to all of its mentors that evening, who in turn contacted the parents – just to alert all the families and raise their awareness.
“We could have anything between 80 and 90 juveniles training on a Wednesday evening and as a club we felt that it was our responsibility to make sure that families were reminded to be vigilant.
“It’s not about scaremongering, it’s about awareness, and since the reported incident we have done Stranger Danger sessions with some of our juvenile teams and our Child Protection Officer has spoken with the young person in question.”
Over the weekend, the club’s text message travelled around the community at speed and also made a number of appearances on social media.
When contacted by The Echo, Tallaght gardaí could not confirm that an attempted abduction took place, but will look into the report.
Anybody who witnessed anything suspicious in the Alderwood area on Wednesday, September 23, is encouraged to contact Tallaght Garda Station on 6666000.
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