Gardai arrest man as part of investigation into alleged case of female genital mutilation
Gardai investigating an alleged case of female genital mutilation have arrested a man in Dublin.
The man, aged in his 30s, was detained for questioning by garda who were probing the alleged mutilation of a young girl.
The practice is widespread in several African countries but is banned in Ireland.
The arrest of the man is thought to be the first arrest in Ireland under the Criminal Justice Act (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012.
A garda spokeswoman confirmed yesterday a man was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and that he was later released.
Gardai carried out an intensive examination of an apartment in south Dublin yesterday as part of their investigation.
The Irish Family Planning Association website states that, while the exact number of women and girls worldwide who have undergone female genital mutilation - FGM - remains unknown, at least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have been subjected to the practice.
In Ireland, it is estimated that more than 3,780 women and girls between the ages of 15 and 44 have experienced FGM.
Irish law imposes a maximum fine of up to €10,000 or imprisonment for up to 14 years for anyone found guilty of the practice.
Short term health consequences can include haemorrhage, infections such as tetanus and HIV, failure of the wound to heal, urine retention, fracture and dislocation of limbs, or death.
Long term health consequences can include painful sex, recurrent urinary tract infections, painful periods, potential trauma during childbirth, infertility, incontinence and difficulty urinating, chronic pelvic inflammatory disease, sexual dysfunction and psychological trauma.