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Revealed: Secret probation scheme for sex offenders

NewsBy Patrick O'Connell
Gerard Cleere
Gerard Cleere

Dangerous sex offenders are being secretly placed back within communities in Dublin as part of a trial funded by the Probation Service – without parents being informed of their past.

The Sunday World has learned the so-called ‘Circles of Support and Accountability’ (CoSA) trial, costing an estimated €215,000, has seen paedophiles described as “medium-to-high risk” placed in community settings.

The convicted sex attackers are then monitored by groups of between five to six volunteers as they rejoin society in a bid to “reduce” their risk of re-offending.

Child rapist Gerard Cleere on the right confronted by Sunday World

The inner circle of volunteers facilitate the paedophiles’ practical needs by helping them access employment and housing.

Parents are not warned that the person introduced into the community is a convicted paedophile, for fear of a public backlash.

Last night, the scheme was blasted by parents in Redcross, Co Wicklow, where notorious child rapist Gerard Cleere joined the local church while concealing his past from parents– three years prior to the trial commencing.

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