Thursday 22 August 2019

Gardai warn against 'vigilante-type behaviour' as two men are quizzed following child sex sting

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Ken Foy and Ryan Nugent

Senior garda sources have warned against vigilante-type behaviour following incidents in Drogheda over the weekend.

The warning comes as a garda investigation is under way into allegations against two individuals in Louth following a sting operation targeting child grooming conducted by a vigilante group.

Two men were confronted by British group ‘Silent Justice’, which alleges they had attempted to meet young girls online.

The two separate incidents took place in different locations in Drogheda over the weekend.

It is understood both incidents are being investigated by gardaí in Drogheda.

It is also understood that both men were interviewed by gardaí under formal caution after the ‘Silent Justice’ group contacted the authorities concerned the pair were separately trying to contact underage girls online.

They voluntarily presented themselves to Drogheda garda station where they provided statements.

A Garda spokeswoman said: “We are aware of two reported incidents and they are under investigation.

“No one has been arrested.”

Senior sources say that investigations are ongoing and as part of the investigation it will be decided whether to raid their homes, and attempt to take possession of their computers and any other relevant issues that arise.

In the case of the second man, members of the group called to his Drogheda home.

A senior source said: “Vigilante-type behaviour of this nature is never acceptable and there is entrapment issues in relation to the Irish courts system.

“Gardaí were contacted and both men were spoken to at the Garda station and provided statements.

“An investigation is ongoing.

“Under Irish law there may be complications around this matter, they were in fact communicating with a 35-year-old woman.

“This is a complicated situation that gardaí have rarely encountered before and there is very little case law to guide them on the matter.

“Gardaí will have to see where this investigation takes us, every complaint is treated with due diligence and followed up on.”

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