Former minister faces probe after child abuse claims
Allegations of child sexual abuse involving a former government minister are being investigated by gardai.
The Herald can reveal that a number of alleged victims have come forward and have been interviewed by specialist detectives.
The allegations are understood to have emerged separately in the course of the last six months.
The man at the centre of the investigation is extremely well respected.
The investigation is being led by the Garda National Protection Services Bureau (GNPSB)which are understood to have recently carried out a reconstruction of one of the scenes in relation to the alleged abuse.
The suspect has not yet been interviewed by gardai.
The abuse is alleged to have happened at a location in Dublin and at another location in the midlands.
It is alleged that the abuse happened over a number of years in the 1990s.
Sources said that it is claimed that the suspect used his position of power to carry out the abuse.
Last night, sources said that investigating detectives were treating the complaint seriously.
Some of the alleged victims are male while others are female.
The alleged victims are from Dublin.
It is understood that the allegations of sexual abuse are "not at the higher level of scale".
The elite GNPSB are based at Harcourt Square and their highly-trained detectives provide advice, guidance and assistance to gardai investigating child sexual abuse, other sexual crimes, and domestic violence.
It is understood that an alleged victim has also complained that allegations which he provided to a Dublin garda station over a decade ago were not fully investigated.
However, the Herald has learnt that the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has not received any complaint.
Meanwhile, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office, there was an increase in the number of sexual offences during the 12 months up to the end of June this year.
The overall category saw an increase of 3.3pc, which included an increase of 6.7pc in rapes and 6.5pc in sexual assaults.