GAA clubs in south Armagh have been asking parents to ensure children are fully informed of the ‘stranger danger’ message as police continue to hunt two known paedophiles spotted in the area.
The PSNI’s Public Protection Branch last night appealed for information on the whereabouts of James White and Alexis Guesto – also known as Jason Lydiard – after several reported sightings.
A blue Peugeot car was found in the car park of Mullaghbawn chapel on Thursday and this has been seized by police.
Chief Inspector Jill Duffie said: “We believe these two individuals have recently travelled to Northern Ireland from the Republic as a result of a number of reports to police regarding sightings of these two men in the South Armagh/Newry areas.”
Police have also been tracking comments made on social media and want anyone who may have posted having seen these two men to get in touch.
Local sports club having been taking to social media as they are keen to remind parents of the need for vigilance and the utmost care.
Mullaghbawn CLG posted: “We do not want to alarm you but rather reassure you that we as a club are doing and will continue to do everything to protect the children who play our sport.
In light of this we would ask all parents to do the following :Ensure a c oach is present when dropping off children for matches/training; Pick children up from dressing rooms after training; All coaches will ensure that children remain in the dressing room until parents arrive to collect them; We would ask you that if you are at matches/training to be vigilant and if you spot any suspicious activity please inform the coach or club member immediately or the PSNI.
“We as a club will be enforcing the above to ensure the continued protection of our children. We appreciate your support on this matter.”
Ballyhegan Davitts GFC also posted: “Children need to be extra vigilent as there have been confirmed reports of two known paedophiles acting suspiciously outside a number of schools and football clubs in South Armagh. Apparently they are using a puppy to attract the attention of children.
“Please remind your children about Stranger Danger. We encourage parents to stay at all training sessions/matches wirh your children but if you cannot please ensure that your children are collected promptly.”
And Silverbridge GFC said it like all clubs takes its “safeguarding duties very seriously” and added: “Like you have been hearing from other clubs in recent days, we ask all our members with children to be extra vigilant in and around our club grounds.”
Meanwhile, CI Duffie wants sightings reported immediately.
“I would urge anyone who knows where these two men are, or believes they may have seen them or come into contact with them in recent days to contact us on the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 495 of 26/04/18,” she said.
“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”