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Two Released Following Athlone Assault

ATH

Two of the three men who were being questioned following a serious sexual assault on two young girls in Westmeath have been released without charge.

The third man is still being questioned in relation to the incident which occurred in Athlone on Saturday.

A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The girls, aged six and nine, were hospitalised after the incident. They are expected to be interviewed by Gardaí and a trained specialist interviewer in the coming days.

The girls were outside a house at a birthday party in a busy residential area at 4pm when they were asked by a stranger to accompany him to a nearby building.

After being lured inside, they were detained in a room where they were seriously assaulted.

They managed to escape through a window and return to the party a short time later to raise the alarm. Adults at the party had already become concerned at the unexplained disappearance of the girls.

Efforts were made to forcefully apprehend a man inside the house where the assault took place.

The girls were taken to hospital in Galway for medical treatment.

Mayor of Athlone Councillor Gabrielle McFadden described the incident as “sickening” and said thoughts of the entire community are with the children and their parents.

“Two children should be able to play in the front garden of a house,” an emotional Ms McFadden added.

“Everybody is thinking about and praying for the parents and the two little children”.

“The town is quite devastated and quite upset.”

Image courtesy of Press Association

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