PUBLIC ALERT: Ferbane, Co Offaly: Garda Manhunt After Attempt To Abduct Teenage Girl: UPDATED

20 Jul

A manhunt has been launched after a teenage girl escaped an attempted abduction.

A man driving a white van pulled up to the girl as she played on her bike outside her house in the townland of Moyclare, near Ferbane in Co Offaly on Tuesday evening.

Gardai said the man chatted to the 13-year-old before trying to pull her into the small van.

The girl escaped after a brief struggle.

Gardai said the man fled the scene in the van in the direction of Ferbane.

The teenager had been cycling between her own home and a friend’s house on the road to Clonlyon, off the Ferbane to Belmont Road about 2km outside Ferbane, when she was approached.

The attempted abductor is described as middle aged, small with dark hair and he was wearing glasses.

Investigating gardai in Birr said the incident happened at about 8.30pm.

NEWS UPDATE:

GARDAÍ are closing in on a man who attempted to abduct a 13-year-old girl as she cycled near her home in rural Co Offaly.

The Irish Examiner understands that the investigation by local gardaí, backed up by a specialist national sex offenders unit, is “advanced”, but investigators are still appealing for sightings of the van and the suspect.

The incident happened at about 8.30pm on Tuesday at Moyclare, a townsland near Ferbane town.

“A girl in her early teens was cycling her bicycle on her own between her own house and that of a friend’s,” said a garda spokesman.

“A white van described as a car-type pulled up beside the girl and a male engaged her in conversation, he then attempted to pull her into the van but after a brief struggle she managed to escape.”

He said the driver drove off in the direction of Ferbane. He said the location of the incident is at the town land of Moyclare on the road to Clonlyon, off the Ferbane to Belmont Road and approximately 2km outside Ferbane.

The male is described as being middle aged, small in stature, dark hair and wearing glasses. Gardaí suspect the man is Irish.

Garda sources said the van was not local and that they had a partial registration, which they were not revealing for operational reasons.

A large local garda team has been working on the abduction, assisted by the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit.

This unit has been examining the sex offenders register and the Garda Pulse system to see if they can get any matches with the descriptions of the attacker, the van registration and other information they have.

Gardaí advised parents to know where their children are and try and make sure they are in company.

* Gardaí would like anyone with information to contact the Gardaí in Birr on 057 9169710, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station. www.garda.ie  

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