Gardai are continuing to investigate an incident during which a female in her 20s was left “shaken” after a man grabbed her on the shoulder while she was enjoying a leisurely run on the greenway in Athlone.
The incident occured near the Brawny exit at approximately 5.15pm on Tuesday, November 8, when lasrge parts of the town centre were impacted by a major power cut.
Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser this week, Sergeant Andrew Haran stated that the female was jogging on the greenway when a male approached her from behind grabbing her on the shoulder before attempting to push her to the ground.
“Fortunately, after a brief struggle, the female was able to break free from the clutches of the male and run back to her car. She was obviously quite shaken after the incident but not physically hurt.
“We took a statement from the young woman who is thankfully recovering well, but she was certainly shaken by what occurred on the greenway. Unfortunately, the incident took place at dusk and during a power cut so the female was unable to give a clear description of her assailant,” Sergeant Haran stated.
Sergeant Haran stated that Gardai have been conducting patrols and checks in the area since the incident and would welcome assistance from any member of the public who may have further information about what happened.
Dolan Looks for CCTV on Greenway
In light of the incident, Cllr John Dolan called for the provision of CCTV on the greenway, making his request at the monthly meeting of Athlone Moate Municipal district.
Director of Services, Mr Barry Kehoe, responding to Cllr Dolan’s motion stated that the provision of CCTV is a matter primarily for An Garda Siochana and that the Greenway is considered safe and floodlit with regular patrols by both the local authority and Gardai.
“I don’t accept the response from Westmeath County Council that it is just a matter for the Gardai to provide CCTV on the Greenway in Athlone and I gave a number of examples of CCTV being provided on various Greenways around the country.
“This past week there was a serious incident on the Greenway that proves my point that more surveillance and Garda presence is needed on the Greenway.
“I informed our Director of Services that CCTV is provided on Greenways in Wexford, Mayo and South County Dublin at present, and, in my view if they can do it so can we. I have also spoken with our new Chief Superintendent and he is supportive of the idea.
“I welcome the promise by our Director of Services to investigate the locations which I highlighted to him and report back to the Council about how this could be progressed and if there are any possible funding streams which could fund the provision of CCTV,” Cllr Dolan concluded.