Irish journalist faces 50 sex charges

Garda The accused must sign on three times a week at Ballymun Garda Station in Dublin

A 50-year-old journalist has appeared in court in the Republic of Ireland charged with 50 sex offences involving teenage girls.

The man, who cannot be identified at this stage of the proceedings, was arrested just after 09:00 GMT and taken to Ballymun Garda Station in Dublin.

After caution, he made no reply to the charges.

He faces seven charges of engaging in a sexual act with an underage child on dates in 2011.

The man also faces three charges of sexual assault against the same person on dates in 2007 at a number of locations, including a hotel car park in Dublin, and in Donegal.

He faces 40 charges relating to child exploitation, including inducing or coercing a child to engage in the production of child pornography and inducing or coercing her to engage in a sexual, indecent or obscene act.

These offences are alleged to have occurred between 2008 and 2011.

The man was remanded on bail on his own bond of 500 euros (£412) and an independent surety of 2,000 euros (£1,648).

As part of his bail conditions, he must sign on three times a week at Ballymun Garda Station. He has also surrendered his passport.

He is due in court again on 29 April.

The court heard the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed he be tried on indictment, which means he will be sent forward to a higher court for trial.

He has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges.

A defence solicitor told the judge that the DPP agreed the case should have reporting restrictions because of the nature of the charges.

This means the man cannot be identified at this stage.

Mr Hennessy told the judge the man would be applying for legal aid at the next court sitting.

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