Arrests for sexual assault show marked increase in Tipperary

There was a marked increase in the number of arrests for sexual assault in Tipperary last year.

Figures released to Aontú show there were 31 cases of someone being taken into custody in the Tipperary Division for such offences in 2021.

This was the 4th highest number across every Garda Division in the country

Over the past decade the number arrests in Tipperary has ranged from 12 to 20.

Aontú Mid-West PRO Eric Nelligan says it’s vital that victims of sexual assault have faith in the system and that the Nenagh office of Rape Crisis Midwest of the Tipperary Rape Crisis Centre in Clonmel are adequately resourced.

“(It’s important that) Victims that go into those centres that they feel that there’s justice for what happened to them. And if that works through the whole system – everything from the Guards to the justice to the prison service – then more and more victims will feel comfortable coming forward.

“They won’t feel that they might have to internalise what happened or maybe try and forget what happened, the more evidence there is that the perpetrators of this violence are being punished.”

Eric Nelligan is also calling for specific training for staff in pubs and nightclubs as well as bouncers.

He says everything should be done to try to prevent sexual assaults happening in the first place.

“We’re not asking that bouncers or nightclub staff would in any way try and solve it but they might foresee it happening – they might be able to help the victims before it happens. They might be able to prevent it happening.

“Unfortunately if it does happen and its in their work area they then will be fully trained in the best practice to get the victim to the appropriate authorities and to help facilitate the eventual court case that might arise to make sure that evidence is saved or that recordings are saved and all that kind of stuff.”