Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spotlight on Sex Offenders in University Area

The rape of an 18 year old girl in Botanic Gardens early this morning is the latest in a series of sexual assaults in the South Belfast area in recent times.

It is believed the girl was dragged into bushes by a man while walking on her own towards the Stranmillis exit of the Park. She had left a group of friends to go home, after they had been drinking in another area of the gardens.

In a BBC report, local councillor Alasdair McDonnell admitted "this area around Queen's, the Holyland and South Belfast generally is seen as an easy area for this type of attack".

Fellow SDLP councillor for the area, Pat McCarthy, confirmed in The Gown last week that, "The majority of sex offenders in Northern Ireland live in South Belfast, and the majority of them live in and around the University area. We know that for a fact".

At present four wardens patrol the area (only two per shift) known as The Holylands, which stretches from Agincourt Avenue to University Street, from Sunday to Thursday.

Botanic Gardens, a popular spot for students and the local community especially in May and June, is now receiving press and police attention for all the wrong reasons.


Anonymous The annoyed one said...

More protection around the University area and more insight into why this is happening is what is needed. Funny how this story, one that involves women, doesn't get as many comments as the stories about politics in the Union. Funny that.

5/01/2008 12:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there's anything funny about it at all. If you look at the comments on other stories they all are petty and bordering on sectarianism - therefore, the lack of comments in this case would imply that people are taking it seriously.

What I do find strange is that this has faded out of public attention after just one day because it involves a student, but if a resident had a window broken or a student parked in their parking space then BBC/UTV would be covering it for the best part of a week and the Telegraph would have launced some kind of campaign. I dare say it wouldn't have been mentioned at all if it happened during the week, rather than a slow news day.

Surely this is something the Union CAN lead on - students have accepted tution fees and that battle is over, but when the new president campaigned on a fight for light then he should be able to quite easily unite students to demand action on an issue that affects everyone far more than fees ever could.

5/01/2008 5:24 pm  
Anonymous Stepz said...

At annoyed one...

I know. Isn't it tragic?

5/01/2008 6:38 pm  
Anonymous sid the squid said...

could the above feminist whinger (the annoyed one) please sit down and be quiet

5/01/2008 9:20 pm  
Anonymous Annoyed One said...

Sid the Squid.No. But your comment was funny lol.

Am not being feminist here, I don't think pointing out a lack of enthusiasim is "feminist whinging". I'm merely pointing out the lack of enthusiasim from the Gown boards usual debate over the Union, how the Union sucks and in general, why the Union sucks. But yeah, any topic which doesn't involve politics, doesn't involve something to do with the Union or bashing the Exec doesn't get as much response. This is the case already were debate over sexual offenses against people doesn't get any coverage and the fact that our rape conviction is so low doesn't make people bat an eye. Women's issues don't really get good coverage anyway and its wrong. It's not a feminist thing, after all feminism is equality for everyone, not just women. Perhaps its not because the story involves a women that its being ignored, and perhaps I was wrong to say that, but the topic never makes our councillers go hopping mad. Especially the usual nationalists and unionists who comment here. But its ignored all same. Put a story about that McCaffery or Helferty did this and you'll get 50 responses.

5/02/2008 9:36 am  
Anonymous Bob the Goldfish Returns! said...

She has a point though.

5/02/2008 2:02 pm  
Anonymous We're in Dire Straits!!! said...

Why don't you speak to the wonderful welfare officer - helferty. I'm sure he could put on his superman costume and solve the problem.

It's not gonna be the same not having him as the welfare officer - he's done so much for the student's at Queen's. But at least he'll be around for another year as president and who knows he might actually finish his degree after.

As for the rest of this years exec - what a bunch of wasters!

Ms McCaffery - the mag has been brilliant lamo. It's just a pity she has the personality of a door handle! And what is with that eye makeup?!?!?!

Mr Harkin - what a complete and utter waste of space. He is one of the most ignorant, inarticulate people in the students' union - come to think of it prob the university. He's as thick as two short planks but at least he tries lol

Steffan - he's actually the best of a bad bunch!

Mr Roger - He must go home exhausted every evening - i mean pretending to be nice and every one's best bud must really take it out of him.

As for the non sabbs, their posts are a pile of rubbish anyway, and now they've gone and created similar sabbactical posts!!!

Caroline Lagan - where has she been all year??

Artur - ?????

Alex Hobsen - she's another of the pretend to be best buds with everyone.

Sharon Simpson - what's with the accent whine yer nake in and all that.

Jennifer Dunn - vain and lazy.


5/05/2008 10:40 am  
Anonymous even more annoyed student councillor said...

What a bizarre post - you're actually condemning somebody for trying to get on with everyone? I would love to see the justification for that!

Quite strange that you left Steffan Rafferty out there, while resorting to personal attacks on all the other officers. Even stranger when you consider that he is the biggest failure of the lot and there's proof to back it up:
- messed up freshers bazarre
- society training two months late
- society grants four months late
- society awards - already late but I suppose if they happen at all it will be astonishing
- blatantly lied to council about the society resource room - seems even further away than last year
- and you have to pretty much hire a bounty hunter to track him down, and when you do find him he treats you like a piece of crap rather than the one paying his wages

From what I've heard he's done a half assed job for the sport clubs this year but has completely ignored societies so he should do the decent thing and return half of his 14k pay cheque and apologise for being such an arrogant w**ker and waste of student money.

5/06/2008 1:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was only a matter of time before we had comments on a story about a brutal rape turn in to 'how shit are our student officers?'

Some people have no shame.

5/06/2008 8:07 pm  
Anonymous Annoyed one said...

Point proven lol

5/06/2008 8:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steffan has done nothing all year - so I wasnt the only one that noticed!

5/06/2008 9:56 pm  
Anonymous even more annoyed student councillor said...

Your insunuating that we have linked both of these troubling issues but you also forget that this is an open forum - and somebody launched an attack on the sabbaticals but forgot to mention the biggest waster of the lot so I think that this was justified.

5/07/2008 12:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we could get on to the story at hand, I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities to criticise, berate, insult and otherwise demean the sabbaticals in the year to come.

In the mean time, does anyone want to actually post something about the rape?

5/07/2008 8:04 pm  
Anonymous to be honest said...

it was a bit silly to be in the (locked) Botanic Gardens at MIDNIGHT, while drinking with friends... while it was awful that she was attacked, some common sense would prevail...

5/09/2008 3:35 am  

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