DUBLIN, Ireland - Addressing the Dail on Wednesday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke of his horrified reaction at the details of the sex investigation in Munster.
Gardai probing the case have dubbed the ring being operated from Munster as the “worst paedophile ring in the State.”
Investigating officials have said that they had managed to identify 14 victims suspected of being abused by the ring and 11 people were arrested during the bust.
However, as investigators continue to unfold details of how the ring, now the Taoiseach has said, “The crimes alleged are shocking, abhorrent and truly disgusting.”
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin has said that the latest appalling child sex abuse allegations in the south-west of the country have highlighted serious gaps in the State’s ability to deal with these types of offences.
He also warned that only 45 percent of recommendations in a 2012 Garda Inspectorate report on fighting child sex abuse had been implemented.
Martin added that it took up to 2017 for a recommended victims’ helpline to be established and that there were still no child advocacy centres, as recommended, and alarmingly, inexperienced and untrained gardaí were still interviewing child sex victims and taking their statements.
Martin asked Varadkar, “Why is there such poor implementation of the Garda Inspectorate report?”
Meanwhile, the Taoiseach said that sex abuse was the most heinous crime – and child sex abuse was the worst of all.
He even congratulated gardaí and paid tribute to Tusla staff.
Varadkar also conceded that there was outstanding work to improve facilities to investigate and clamp down on child sex abuse.
He, however, said that recent legislation strengthened the law to curb child pornography and the use of social media for “grooming” of children for sex abuse.