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Almost a quarter of all convicted sex offenders in Ireland considered ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risk of reoffending

173 convicted sex offenders are being monitored by gardaí and the Probation Service

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Nearly a quarter of all convicted sex offenders in Ireland are considered to be at a “high” or “very high” risk of reoffending, according to a new report.

The Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management programme has outlined that more than 40 sex offenders who are living in communities around the country fit into these categories.

They are among 173 convicted sex offenders, 172 men and one woman, whose lives are being monitored by gardaí and the Probation Service.

The figures that were released under the Freedom of Information Act to Newstalk FM further reveal that almost a third of those under supervision have been convicted of an offence against a female child, with at least 13pc convicted of rape.

Others have been found guilty of possessing child abuse imagery. Convicted sex offenders currently under supervision range in age from 19 to 77 years.

At present, the public is not entitled to know whether a sex offender lives near them.

Former assistant garda commissioner, Dr Pat Leahy, told the station he believes this is the right approach.

“It's quite strict management that goes on because, ultimately, it is to protect the public from high-risk sex offenders, but at the same time you don't want to expose the sex offender within the community, because of at least a host of other problems,” he said.

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