Gardai

Dundalk gardai investigating ‘suspicious approach’ near local school

Gardai

David Lynch

Reporter:

David Lynch

Dundalk gardai investigating ‘suspicious approach’ near local school

Dundalk gardai investigating ‘suspicious approach’ near local school

Gardai are investigating what they describe as reports of a “suspicious approach” near Bellewsbridge Road in Dundalk yesterday.


The Democrat understands the incident occurred close to Scoil Eoin Baiste national school in Fatima at approximately 12.20pm and Gardai say inquiries are ongoing.


Speaking to the Democrat, a parent of a pupil at the school explained that his daughter said she had been approached by a man who was “at the back of the schoolyard taking pictures of the boys and girls”.


The parent said: “While waiting to collect my children, one of my daughters told me there was a man at the back of the schoolyard taking pictures of the boys and girls. Most worrying for me was the fact he called her by name and asked for a picture of her.


“I asked her teacher what this was about and she said it was reported."


He continued: “After speaking to my daughter and several children, I rang the guards. They took all the information. They will be in contact with me again today.


“This man was at the back of the school in wasteland and spoke to several children and took their pictures, thankfully my daughter knows about the dangers of strangers and she stood back. 


“He then called her by name and asked for a picture of her. I attached an image of where he was, on it you can see rough grass between both the pitch and the school. Now, that is nearly waist-high weeds and grass and not anywhere a person would be. The kids told the teacher and the man hid in the grass. 


“I went to this area last night and you can see where someone was there, lying on the flattened grass.


The parent described the man as being in his 50's with tight grey/white hair, round glasses and a white fisherman hat. He was wearing a blue jacket, white T-shirt, wellies and was covered in muck, he added.


The parent also revealed that another approach had occurred the evening before - on Tuesday - involving a 15-year-old girl and what he believes is the same man.


Then, on Wednesday night he says there was another sighting of a person he believes is also the same man.


“Last night I observed a car matching the description approaching a girl walking on her own at 8:40pm. He was in the church car park with no lights on. This girl was worried and moved away. The car then drove alongside her on the wrong side of the road before taking off at high speed."


The Democrat tried to contact Scoil Eoin Baiste this afternoon, but was unable to reach anyone there for comment.