Gardaí seize ‘childlike sex doll’ during series of raids

Fourteen properties searched as part of operation targeting child porn distribution

A childlike sex doll was seized by gardaí this week during an operation targeting persons suspected of possessing, importing and distributing child pornography.

Digital material was also seized for examination as part of Operation Ketch.

Fourteen searches have been carried out across the State since Monday after warrants were obtained from district courts pursuant to the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998, a Garda spokesman said.

Seven searches were carried out in Co Dublin, two in Co Cork and Co Waterford and one in each of Co Meath, Co Monaghan and Co Galway by local divisional protection service units and detective units.


The spokesman said there were no arrests planned during this phase of the investigation and follow-up searches will be carried out over the coming days. Arrests are expected as individual investigations progress.

Liaison is being maintained between investigating gardaí and Tusla, the child and family agency in relation to child protection concerns that have arisen.

Operation Ketch commenced in February of last year and is an intelligence-led policing operation co-ordinated by the Garda National Protection Services Bureau.

The objectives of the operation are to target people suspected of possessing, importing and distributing child pornography and to identify child protection concerns at suspect addresses and engage with Tusla on these.

A total of 72 addresses have been searched as part of the operation so far this year while 137 addresses were searched last year.

An Garda Síochána said it wished to reassure the community, through operations such as this and other ongoing work by the online child exploitation unit, they will "relentlessly pursue" those involved in the possession, importation and distribution of child abuse material.

Anyone with information is asked to come forward and contact their local garda Station or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times