Northern Ireland

Fermanagh historical sex abuse claims: Ten are arrested

Police officers

Ten people have been arrested by police investigating allegations of historical sexual abuse in County Fermanagh.

They are all aged between 63 and 78, and were arrested in County Fermanagh, Belfast, and Londonderry on Tuesday.

A police operation began last year when dozens of alleged victims of sexual abuse told their stories to the Impartial Reporter newspaper.

There have been claims that a paedophile ring was operating in Fermanagh.

Police have confirmed that as part of their enquiries they want to ascertain whether there are any significant or relevant links between the alleged offending.

Integrity of process

On Tuesday, police said one property in the Fermanagh area was searched as part of their operation.

Det Supt Gary McDonald said police were not in a position to give specific details about each arrest at the current time.

"However, I want to give reassurance to the both victims and the local community that we are continuing to work on the reports made to us over the past year," he said.

Det Supt McDonald said that to "protect the integrity of each individual investigation" and to allow for an prompt investigation, "the team of investigating officers from Public Protection Branch felt it important that these 10 people were arrested and interviewed simultaneously to ensure the integrity of the interview process".