Gardai are investigating if at least five boys were victims of a sinister paedophile ring at a midlands GAA club where abuse is believed to have been ongoing for almost a decade.
Detectives have identified two chief suspects – middle-aged men who are not directly involved with the club.
A large amount of sickening child pornography and a web-cam were discovered when officers raided the home of one of the alleged paedophiles.
A source said: “This detailed investigation has been going on for well over a year and it is at an advanced stage. It is more than possible that there might be more than five victims here.”
The complainants claim the alleged abuse began in 2000 and continued until 2009, while they were boys.
The alleged sex assaults of the then children happened within the grounds of the club.
Last week, gardai arrested one of the two men at the centre of the investigation but he has since been released.
During a search of a house, detectives seized a computer which was found to contain a “significant amount” of child pornography.
Gardai also searched the home of the other man at the centre of the allegations. He was not arrested.
Detectives are also probing whether there may be other suspects linked to the paedophile ring.
The two suspects are local men.
The GAA club in question is aware of the allegations and has co-operated with gardai.
Five young men have provided gardai with statements about the alleged abuse.
As well as rape, gardai have been told some of the youngsters were forced to look at horrific images of child porn
Additionally, it is being examined whether some youngsters were forced to watch other boys being abused and that they were “groomed” by the suspects.
A local garda inspector is leading the detailed investigation and sources say it could be months before there are charges in the case.