The trial that eventually led to the doors of five men in Mayo, Westmeath, Wicklow, Clare and Galway, began six years ago in Denmark. Police there arrested a 45-year-old chiropractor who had been sexually abusing his nine-year-old daughter, and then uploading images on to an internet site operated by a network of paedophiles calling themselves the "Fun Club".
Since the late Nineties, 45-year-old Dr Lloyd Alan Emmerson had been using the internet to exchange images of the abuse of his daughter with 25 other European men who were also abusing their daughters, or little girls in their care.
In all, 65 girls aged from two years to 14 were found to have been abused and were taken into care in 2002. Emmerson, who was found to have half a million images, including films of children
, was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment.
One of the men with whom Emmerson was sharing images via the Fun Club bulletin board -- an early version of the popular teenage websites, like MySpace -- was Pascal Taveirne from Bruges in Belgium.
Taveirne was sharing images of himself raping and otherwise sexually abusing his daughters, who were then aged four and five and both described on Fun Club as severely autistic. In one of the videos shared on the internet, one of the little girls is heard referring to her abuser as "daddy" in an accent clearly from the area of northern Belgium, where Bruges lies.