Former minister accused of child sex abuse
A former government minister is being investigated by gardaí amid allegations he sexually abused children.
A number of alleged victims have given separate statements claiming they were subjected to abuse by the respected politician in the 1990s.
A high-level probe has now been launched and is likely to send shockwaves through political circles.
The investigation is in the early stages and the ex-minister has not yet had an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
The Irish Independent has learned that the alleged victims - who have emerged separately during the past six months - have individually outlined their stories to specialist detectives.
Last night, sources said that investigating detectives were treating the complaints seriously.
However, one of the complainants said he went to a Dublin garda station about the same man over a decade ago.
The investigation is being led by the Garda National Protection Services Bureau (GNPSB), a newly formed unit specialising in sex crimes.
The GNPSB is believed to have recently carried out a reconstruction at one of the scenes where it is alleged the abuse took place.
It is understood that the allegations of sexual abuse are "not at the higher level of scale".
The man at the centre of the inquiry had a distinguished career in politics.
The alleged victims, who are both male and female, claim they were assaulted at a location in Dublin and on separate occasions at an area in the midlands.