A MEDIA outlet in the Midlands has been forced to issue an apology and clarification after a man was falsely identified as a sex offender - and Gardai subsequently had to intervene when he was confronted by locals.
KildareNow published an article regarding the concerns of parents in Monasterevin and elsewhere that convicted sex offender Anthony Luckwill had been seen in the locality.
They published what they described as "a verified police 'mug shot' photograph of Luckwill" with the article.
However, in the clarification, the outlet said that a reader posted a photograph of another man in the comment section when the article was posted on Facebook. This man looked like the convicted sex offender and was apparently seen in Monasterevin.
Shortly after the posting, there was an altercation between locals and the man. There is no suggestion that the man had done anything wrong.
To avoid an escalation, the man had to be given Garda protection in order to leave the area.
“KildareNow would like to unreservedly apologise to that innocent person who Gardai also confirmed is not Anthony Luckwill,” the media outlet added in its statement.
“We also ask that no further images of this innocent person are posted on KildareNow's Facebook or any other social media platform.”
Luckwill has a series of convictions for possession of child pornography both here and in Wales.
He sexually assaulted two young boys in 2011 and subsequently received a four-and-a-half-year jail term.
The sex offender, who is in his mid 40s and previously had an address in Navan, Co Meath, was jailed after posing on the internet as a casting agent for TV programmes.