I have no wish to play politics with the issue I wish to raise with the Taoiseach today. I am deeply concerned at the breaking news that allegedly involves a 14 year old boy at the centre of a paedophile ring in Dublin. Apparently this young boy's mother became aware of extremely inappropriate texts on his mobile phone and, having quizzed the young boy, it became apparent that he was being sexually abused by up to ten men. He has given detailed evidence of his experience. It is alleged that among the ten men in question were a member of the teaching profession and a fully attested garda.
There is no worse tag in society than that of paedophile and there is no worse nightmare for a parent than that of paedophilia. How many parents in this country have asked their children, over the years, to contact a garda if they had information or difficulties in this regard? I do not wish to discuss the case under investigation but it would make a parent's blood run cold.
I am sure the Taoiseach will agree that a certain seediness has crept into Irish society and it is now the case that the sexuality of young children is being commodified. These reports, if true, make a mockery of the safeguards and criteria we lay down to protect our children. Perhaps the Taoiseach could indicate any current reports he has on this matter as it is of such import. If it is true that a 14 year old boy has been sexually abused by a paedophile ring of ten men, it may be that there are others, perhaps a significant number, who have been abused similarly. From that perspective, this is a most distressing incident and one that is of very serious import for thousands of parents and children and the Government.