Gardaí are investigating an allegation that a well-known sportsman raped a young woman in a Dublin city centre hotel in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The man has not yet been arrested but sources have revealed the allegation made by the woman in her 20s is being considered “extremely credible”.
It is understood gardaí are also investigating whether she was the victim of a physical assault in the course of the alleged rape, which happened between midnight and 2am at a premises in the southside of the city centre.
“This is a very sensitive case and gardaí will be working on it all night,” a senior source told the Irish Independent.
The case is being investigated by officers at Pearse Street garda station and the alleged victim is from Dublin.
The exact location of the attack was not clear last night.
The woman had been socialising in Dublin before going on to a hotel in the city centre.
The alleged victim made a complaint to officers at a separate Garda station at around midday yesterday.
However, because of the location of the alleged rape, the investigation was handed over to officers from Pearse Street.
The sportsman has not yet been interviewed by gardaí, but it is understood this could happen as early as today.
It is understood he and the alleged victim are known to each other.
She was treated yesterday at the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at the Rotunda Hospital.
It comes as the net is closing in on a rapist who brutally attacked a German student in Dublin city centre in a completely separate case last week.
Investigating officers have recovered “excellent quality” CCTV of the suspect who has been described as a stocky man aged in his late 30s or early 40s, with a tight haircut.
A senior source revealed that gardaí plan to distribute the image of the suspect to officers nationwide in the hope it will lead to his arrest.
“The images show the suspect very clearly just after the rape happened,” a senior source told the Irish Independent last night.
The sexual assault took place in the Christchurch area at around 3.30am on Sunday, December 2.
The victim, who is said to be “extremely traumatised” after her ordeal, is aged in her 20s.
She has returned to her native country where she is being comforted by family and friends.
The woman was attacked in a laneway off Winetavern Street after earlier socialising at a pub in the north city.
It is understood that she was attacked as she walked home by a “random stranger” who gardaí suspect is an Irish national.
After being raped, the disorientated woman made her way to the Civic Offices at Wood Quay, and it was from here that she made a panicked 999 call.
Gardaí then arrived at the scene to assist her.
The case is being investigated by Kevin Street gardaí, and there has been no arrest so far or a description of the attacker.
“This was an absolutely horrendous experience for a young woman who is in Ireland as part of her studies,” a source said.
“The allegation is being treated as completely credible and a full investigation is under way.”
Gardaí are continuing to appeal for witnesses or anyone who was in the area at the time to contact them.