A number of people have been questioned

Laptops and phones have been seized in 31 properties nationwide as part of an investigation into child abuse material.

Thousands of images are believed to be among the items seized across 15 counties.

Over the past few days an operation headed up by the Online Child Exploitation Unit has been carried out across the country.

The laptops and phones are expected to contain thousands of images of child exploitation.

In one search, ‘child abuse dolls’ were found.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll says it’s the first time this has happened.

Nobody has been arrested but gardai say they are speaking to a number of people aged from their teens to their 70s.

Some of them have already made admissions.

It’s believed the abuse victims in this instance are foreign but Irish children have been identified in the past.

 

Senior Gardai say social media sites helped them in today’s operation but they would like to see more done to ensure this type of material is blocked online.