Limerick woman’s warning after late night approach leads to ‘unnerving’ reports

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Blogger, mental health advocate and TV3 panelist Jen Ronan

Blogger, mental health advocate and TV3 panelist Jen Ronan

A LIMERICK woman’s warning to men to leave women walking on their own late at night “the f*** alone”, has led to 12 similar reports of the “same man” approaching women on their own at night across the city.

Blogger, mental health advocate and TV3 panelist Jen Ronan took to social media after a car pulled in and a man approached her, while she was walking home alone from a late-bar in Limerick city. 

Since posting about the incident on social media, 12 different people have contacted her, reporting that they have had similar experiences across Limerick city with a man matching her description. 

“I went on Twitter because I got a bee in my bonnet about it, I was so angry. Now it seems a pattern has emerged,” Ms Ronan said.  

On Saturday September 15, a car slowed down and pulled in beside Ms Ronan while she was walking the three blocks between the late-bar and her home. 

The driver then proceeded to approach Ms Ronan on foot, while trying to initiate a conversation by asking her if she had a light or wanted a lift home. 

Ms Ronan initially believed the man was “harmless but stupid” to have approached her.

“I just kept walking,” Ms Ronan explained. “It was a very brief encounter but the more I thought about it when I got home, I just thought ‘Janey, what was he doing stopping the car?’” 

“It just got me very annoyed, so I tweeted.”

“Dear Random blokes, if you’re as sound to women as you think you are, the best thing you can do if you see a woman walking on her own is to leave her the f*** alone,” she tweeted. 

“You’ll never know the fear of hearing a car slow down and pull up alongside you as you make your way home.”

Ms Ronan then shared her thoughts on Facebook, advising men not approach a woman on her own at night to ask an “inane question.”

“Find a bloke and ask him; we don’t need the terror of strangers in cars trying to start chats at 3.30am,” she said.

“I wanted to make the point that men can help women by not pulling up alongside them if they are on their own and you are in a car because it can be petrifying, even if it's just something innocuous,” Ms Ronan told the Limerick Leader.

“It's very unnerving.” 

Following her posts online, three women contacted her, reporting similar experiences. Ms Ronan then took to social media again to share a description of the man. 

“To date, I have had 12 people contact me privately to tell me they have had the same encounter with a man who matches that description.” 

These reports include 11 women and one young man, she added. 

“The reports have come from all over the city, sort of around the perimeters of the city, at the time night clubs usually close.” 

A pattern seems to have emerged, Ms Ronan believes. 

“I have had photos of the car sent to me and it might have caught the car reg and I am talking to a guard.” 

“I have sent on all the information I have received, including locations, times and dates that people were approached.” 

An official complaint has yet to be made but is expected to be in the coming days. 

“It seems like its a pattern and that he could actually be targeting young women who are walking,” Ms Ronan said.  

“I don’t know what crime is being committed here, or what the gardaí can do with it but it is unnerving,” Ms Ronan added.

“Why is he doing it?” she asked.