Gardaí issue warning to parents as suspicious approach made to girl

Gardaí issued an alert to parents in Limerick yesterday following a suspicious approach made to a 14-year-old girl near Annacotty on Tuesday as she returned home from school.

A man in a white van approached the girl on the outskirts of the city.

This is the third time a white van has been linked to suspicious approaches to children in Limerick over the past two months.

The first incident occurred on Sep 6, in Fedamore, 15km south of Limerick City, when a boy aged 12 was approached and asked if he wanted a lift.

The boy declined and was approached again a short time later.

Four youths walking at Lord Edward Street in Limerick were approached on Sep 8 by a man driving a white van.

While the man did not speak to the boys, he slowed and blocked their path. There were two other males in the van.

Gardaí in Limerick are also investigating an incident in which a garda intercepted a stranger who was “walking” a teenage boy home from school.

The middle-aged man was carrying one of the boy’s schoolbags

The man, when questioned by the garda, claimed he had been friends with the boy for a number of months and sometimes walked with him on his way home from school.

On speaking with the boy, the gardaí discovered the man had engaged in inappropriate conversation with him. The garda then brought the boy home and spoke with his parents.

An investigation is now continuing into the matter and further interviews with the man have taken place.

Sgt Brian Broderick, crime prevention officer at Henry St Garda Station, encouraged parents to speak to their children about approaches from strangers and give them clear instructions. It was important to report such approaches as soon as possible to their parents, teachers, or the gardaí.

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