A MALE teacher who allegedly sent a lewd photo to a girl pupil at a secondary school is being investigated by gardai.
The teenage girl is said to have received the image on her mobile phone.
It is believed to have shown the teacher's private parts.
A relative of the 16-year-old saw it and gardai were alerted.
The teacher, who is in his early 40s, remains at work.
It is understood he has been assigned administration duties in the Co Carlow school while an investigation involving the gardai and HSE is carried out.
The teenager who allegedly received the picture is not a pupil of the teacher or a student at the school where he works.
She lives in Carlow, and is said to have received the picture just before she returned to school following the summer break.
A garda source last night confirmed that the matter is under investigation after officers were alerted by the family member.
While no charges have been brought against the teacher, he could yet be brought before the courts if the DPP decides to take action.
The HSE is also involved in investigating the case because the girl who allegedly received the photo is under the age of 18.
A spokesperson was unavailable for comment yesterday.
The teacher has been seen in the Carlow area in recent days, and local people are said to be disgusted and angry at his alleged conduct.
While he and the girl are said to be known to each other, it is not believed that they met through any school activities.
It is also unclear if a text message was sent with the photo.
However, a garda examination of telecoms traffic as well as the teacher's handset and the girl's phone will be central to the investigation, which is continuing.
By Conor Feehan