Gardai have busted a suspected paedophile sex ring in a number of raids across Munster on Monday.
The operation had been launched on the grounds that detectives have arrived as many as eight people.
The arrests began in the mid-afternoon and lasted several hours as well as worked to locate the people involved.
A source said: "This is the latest phase in a lengthy investigation into a paedophile ring which has been operating in Munster.
"The people are all familiar with each other and from the same community – they are thought to be related or connected through friendships.
"It is suspected that this is an ongoing series of crimes with a number of victims – this phase deals with a number of people."
The nature of the abuse is said to be extremely involved.
A source added: "This is a shocking case with a large group of senior, experienced investigators, involved in the case.
"Detectives are shocked by the scope of the inquiry and a hugely complicated case.
"Specialist interview teams have been involved in questioning the accused and having child interviewers and are also involved in gathering statements from victims.
"Gardai are also liaising with other agencies as they carry out the investigation."
A series of arrests six women and five men, ranging from 20s to 70s, snatched by judgment teams across three counties.
The abuse, involving children, from the age of 10-years-old to an infant, is in recent history however it is believed that it stretches back over generations.
A Garda spokesman said that the arrested people were detained at stations in the Southern and Western Regions of An Garda Siochana.