Gardaí warned of challenges in recruiting officers to regional cyber-crime units given their exposure to graphic sexual abuse material

Gardaí warned they would face difficulties in finding suitable staff for specialised cyber-crime units because of the extreme and explicit material members would be forced to deal with every day.

The Department of Justice were also told that training up staff to deal with cybercrime would make them vulnerable to being poached by the private sector because of the “highly sought after” skills they would develop.

Separately, some officials at the department queried whether the creation of six regional cyber-crime units was the correct approach and whether a national centre of excellence should not be established instead.

Questions were also asked about why so many of the staff at the centres would be garda officers when some of the roles could be filled by civilians and why a business case for the units was so “light on benefits analysis”.