A MAN has appeared in court charged in connection with an incident during which a 55-year-old woman was allegedly knocked to the ground and punched several times in the face and head.
This morning, Detective Garda Shane Ryan said Mark Barry, aged 24, of Garryglass Avenue, Balllinacurra Weston made no reply when he was charged with robbing the woman at Baggot Estate earlier this week.
The incident is alleged to have happened in broad daylight at around 4.10pm on Tuesday.
It is alleged the defendant dismounted from a pedal-bike and knocked the woman to the ground after she refused to hand over her handbag.
Opposing bail, Det Garda Ryan further alleged that Mr Barry punched her in the head several times and covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming before fleeing the scene.
Mr Barry’s bail application will resume tomorrow after he became unwell during today’s hearing and was taken to University Hospital Lmerick for blood tests.
Tuesday’s incident has given rise to safety fears in the redeveloped park, which for years was plagued by anti-social behaviour.
Local councillor Maria Byrne said: ‘“It’s terrible that something like this happened. It’s a beautiful amenity and a popular walking spot and huge money has been spent on it, but the area needs to be reviewed,” Cllr Byrne told the Leader.
She said the gates to the park are operated by a solar system, which automatically close depending on when it gets dark, and recently someone was locked inside the gates, while Cllr Byrne called the council to get the person out.
The estate received a multi-million euro upgrade in 2012, which was a recreational walkway completed through its heart and the installation of CCTV.
A major, 23-page plan was drawn for the 69-acre estate in 2011 by the city council.
There are more than six entry points to the estate in that list.
However, locals have said that the amenity “while not quite a no man’s land, doesn’t have the level of footfall that would make it feel entirely safe.
“A lot has been done with it, but an awful lot more could be done. It needs to be really claimed by the public in a progressive and imaginative way,” said one resident.
Separately Gardai at Henry Street station are also investigating a robbery at Ellen Street at 8.25pm on Wednesday evening of last week. The victim, a 42-year old man, was robbed of his mobile phone while walking along Ellen Street. A suspect for this crime was arrested in the area shortly afterwards by responding gardai.
At 4.15pm on Thursday, March 5, a handbag was stolen from a woman at a bus stop in Mulgrave Street. The victim had left her bag on the ground.
Gardai have advised that there have been a number of thefts of phones from people in public places, especially women, while the victims were using the actual phones. A similar theft occurred again at Arthur’s Quay at 8pm on Friday, March 6. The victim, a young woman was walking with her husband when a youth on a bicycle snatched the phone from her hand.