suspended | 

Garda under probe for allegedly accessing and distributing child sex abuse material

Electronic devices seized as officer is suspended from duty

Several electronic devices were seized in a raid on the garda's home. Stock image© PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ali BrackenSunday Independent

A garda is under investigation for allegedly accessing and distributing child sexual abuse material and has been suspended from the force, the Sunday Worldcan reveal.

The officer had his home raided last Sunday, during the course of which it is understood a number of electronic devices were seized.

On the same day investigators also searched the officer’s locker at the garda station where he is based.

The rank and file officer — who is understood to be a married man with children, based in Leinster — was suspended from duty on Sunday.

A major garda investigation into his alleged crimes is now underway.

The garda has yet to be arrested. It is normal practice in complex investigations for specialist officers to first seize and examine all electronic devices that have been detected allegedly accessing or distributing child sex abuse material.

After all the relevant evidence has been examined by technical experts, and if a case then exists, the suspect is arrested and questioned.

One source said the officer should not be condemned at this early stage, and added that it is the job of specialist investigators to carry out their enquiries undeterred.

“The garda was immediately suspended and the investigation should now be allowed to take its course. The fact that the suspect is a garda officer has absolutely no relevance to how the case will be investigated,” said a source.

The case is “by far” the most serious case of alleged criminal wrongdoing by a serving garda currently under investigation, and has “sent shockwaves” through the force in recent days.

When contacted, a spokesperson for Garda Headquarters said: “An Garda Siochana are investigating allegations in relation to accessing child sexual abuse material.

“A garda in the Eastern Region has been suspended.”​

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