SEVEN suspects, including two women, have been arrested by gardai today in connection with an investigation into allegations that a young girl was raped by a number of men over a five-year period.
The offences are alleged to have taken place when the girl was aged between four and nine years at her home in south county Dublin.
The girl is now ten years old.
The authorities became aware of the alleged sexual activity involving the girl after she had been taken into care last year on the basis that she had been neglected by her mother.
Information given by the girl led to the gardai being alerted and a major investigation was launched.
This resulted in the arrest of five men and two women today.
The suspects include the girl’s mother and her brother.
Six of the suspects are eastern Europeans and the seventh is a British national.
All were being held for questioning this afternoon at garda stations around the south city.
They are being detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be held without charge for up to 24 hours, excluding rest periods.
The arrests were carried out in Dublin and Wexford.
Tom Brady, Security Editor