Gardaí investigate child grooming allegations in Co. Louth

Gardaí say they are investigating allegations of child grooming against two people in Co. Louth.

It follows a sting operation by a vigilante group which confronted two individuals in separate operations over the weekend.

No arrests have been made.

A leading Senior Counsel has warned civilians against attempting to gather evidence for criminal trials.

Michael O'Higgins says well-intentioned individuals can gather evidence, but they are not equipped to do the job in the same way as law enforcement agencies.

He said: "When police are procuring evidence, there is a template of procedures and protections.

"When people are discussing things outside of a formal arrest many of those protections do not apply, but ultimately the test would be whether the statement made was a voluntary one."

It comes after RTE sports producer Kieran Creaven appeared in court in Leeds yesterday charged with communicating with a child for sexual activity.

Married Creaven, 55, appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court yesterday where he was charged with attempting to meet a child following grooming and attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, namely kissing and cuddling.

The court heard the offences were said to have taken place from July 1 - when the defendant first contacted the "girl" - to November 18 when he arrived at the hotel.

No indication to pleas was given as Creaven, of Dublin, was bailed to appear at Leeds Crown Court on December 12.

His bail conditions are that he resides at an address in Ireland given to the court, has no unsupervised contact with any child aged under 16 and, if requested by police, to supply any device that is internet-enabled.

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