Gardaí are carrying out a highly sensitive investigation in relation to the alleged rape of a nine-year-old girl by an 11-year-old boy.
The families of the two children are close friends and one of the mothers was visiting the other child’s mother at the time.
The children were outside, near the house their mothers were in, at the time of the alleged attack. Another woman is thought to have witnessed something and raised the alarm.
The girl was brought to a sexual assault unit for a forensic examination.
The alleged attack occurred on Easter Sunday at a town in Leinster.
Specialist gardaí, trained in interviewing child victims of sexual offences, are being brought in to interview both the girl and the boy.
These interviews can be done by video recording, which can be taken as evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution.
The age of criminal responsibility for a child is 12, but in cases of rape and murder, children aged 10 and 11 can be prosecuted on directions from the DPP.
There have been cases taken in the past. Sources indicated the circumstances of the boy would be taken into account.
In all cases involving alleged child perpetrators, a file is sent to the Garda National Juvenile Office to see if the accused is suitable for inclusion.
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