GARDAI have quizzed 12 people as part of a child sex abuse probe in the country.
Twelve people, aged from their 20's to their 70's, have been arrested and subsequently questioned as part of an investigation into a suspected 'paedophile ring' operating in Munster.
Those arrested were taken to garda stations all over the south-west of the country yesterday.
The case is the subject of reporting restrictions, ordered by the courts to protect alleged victims.
It is believed that up to 20 children have been abused by adults close to them in the area with a wider group of adults suspected to be also involved.
The inquiry has been ongoing for two years and the alleged victims have been relocated by authorities for their own protection.
Those arrested could be quizzed for several hours before any decision is made to bring charges against them or release them pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
A Garda spokesman said: "Gardaí have arrested a number of people in relation to an ongoing investigation.
"They are currently detained in Garda stations in the Southern and Western Regions of An Garda Síochána."
In March of this year, eleven people were arrested in the south-west of the country as part of an investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of children, but were subsequently released without charge.
Specific details of the investigation or alleged offences cannot be disclosed for legal reasons.
Those arrested in the case could be quizzed for several hours before any decision is made to bring charges against them or release them pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).