Gardaí are openly visiting a convicted double-rapist up to three times a day since his recent release from prison and have also put him under covert surveillance.
Patrick “Lo Lo” O’Driscoll was released from the Midlands Prison on July 9 after serving 11 years of a 17-year sentence for rape and sexual assault.
O’Driscoll, a Traveller, was sentenced in 2003 for a brutal attack on a woman in Fermoy, Co Cork.
He had, at the time, been out of prison after serving nine years of a 12-year sentence for a previous rape in Kilkenny.
After being released last week, O’Driscoll was driven to Cork from the Midlands Prison by officers.
On his arrival in Fermoy, he briefly spoke to gardaí before returning to his home at a roadside halting site at Coome, about 4km west of the village of Glenville.
He is living there with his mother and a brother.
In recent days, the 47-year-old has been observed taking a bus into Cork City with his elderly mother and has driven into Glenville village on a horse and trap with his brother.
Gardaí visit him at the halting site twice and sometimes three times a day, and it is understood they intend to maintain, indefinitely, a close contact.
He is known to travel widely and has an intimate knowledge of the North Cork and West Cork areas in particular.
Garda sources labelled O’Driscoll as one of Ireland’s most dangerous men and said he is “a predator who is especially dangerous to women and has a very high likelihood of reoffending”.
He has given the Coome halting site as his permanent address to gardaí for inclusion on the sex offenders register.
If he changes his place of abode at any stage, he is obliged to notify gardaí of any new address within 24 hours.
His last victim along with her mother, admitted they were “living in fear” following O’Driscoll’s release.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, reviewed her personal security, sleeps with a baseball bat by her pillow, and fears going outside alone.
Deputy Tom Barry, who lives a few miles from the O’Driscoll halting site, said people who are convicted of such crimes should be electronically tagged when they are released from prison.
“I would imagine the use of electronic tagging is less expensive as it would obviously take a lot of resources to be constantly trying to follow somebody around in person,” the Fine Gael TD said.
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