Six women and five women remain in garda custody
GARDAI have extended the periods of detention of eleven people who have been arrested in connection with the alleged sexual exploitation of a number of young children in West Limerick.
The six women and five men were arrested during a series of co-ordinated raids across Munster on Monday evening.
The operation, led by members of the divisional Protective Services Unit, was the latest stage in an investigation which began early last summer.
“The arrests are part of an investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of children who were resident in the Newcastle West garda district,” confirmed a garda spokesperson.
The Newcastle West garda district is one of the biggest in the country and details of the precise location, which is known to the Limerick Leader, cannot be disclosed for legal reasons and in order to protect the identity of the alleged victims.
Those arrested, who range in age from their early 20s to their mid 70s, are all members of the same extended family and gardai believe the alleged victims are known to them.
The alleged victims, some of whom have been interviewed by specialist gardai as part of the investigation, are said to include children ranging in age from several months old to 12.
Those arrested are being detained at garda stations in Limerick, Shannon, Ennis and North Cork under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
Following the extention of their periods of detention they can be detained until late this Tuesday evening before they are released or charged.
Gardai have said they will not be providing any further details given the sensitive nature of the investigation.