Gardaí in Galway and five other counties have carried out searches as part of a national operation against child sexual exploitation material.
Ten searches were conducted between 28 November and 1 December in Galway, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Louth and Wicklow as part of the operation.
The searches will help identify suspects who are using Peer to Peer file sharing to share, distribute and possess child sexual exploitation material.
They also identify suspects using various social media platforms to share the material.
Various items of digital material were seized for forensic examination as part of the searches.
Gardaí will continue to liaise with TUSLA in relation to child protection concerns that arise.
Speaking today, Detective Superintendent Lackey, Garda National Protective Service Bureau, said that persons accessing, viewing and distributing child sexual abuse material need to recognise that this is not a victimless crime.
“In fact the young victims of this criminal activity are amongst the most vulnerable victims in our society in Ireland and Internationally,” said Superintendent Lackey.
“An Garda Síochána is working and will continue to work closely with all our international partners to target, disrupt and bring to justice anyone involved in the accessing, distribution and production of this criminal sexual abuse material.”
To date, during 2022, the Online Child Exploitation Unit has sent in excess of 700 referrals to local Divisional Protective Services Units for investigation.