“A defendant might argue that the doll does not depict a child, or that a doll does not equate with a child for the purposes of the legislation.” Customs would not say if they had detained a child sex doll, to date, but Chief Supt Daly said gardaí had “not come across them yet”.

He said there was “no doubt” they will come to Ireland and may already have been imported.

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“Our legislation appears to be wide enough,” said Chief Supt Michael Daly of the National Protective Services Bureau said.

“It does seem to fall within child pornography laws.” But he said he was referring the matter to the Garda Legal Section for advice and stressed the issue “has not been tested in court”.

He said the 1998 Act was “broad” and child pornography was defined as “any visual representation” whose dominant characteristic is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of the genital or anal region of a child.

He said this could arguably include 3D representations like child sex dolls, but added: “The prosecution would have to prove that the dominant purpose of the doll is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of the genital or anal region of a child.

Though not discussed in court, it is possible to track the location of a phone using certain information, such as an email address and password, provided the phone’s location services are switched on.

An invisible app may also be placed on a person’s phone to enable information, including location, to be passed to another person.September 2017 13th September: Child Protection - Mitchelstown, Co.Cork 14th September: Child Protection - Swords, Co.Cork 25th September: Leadership Skills and Change Management in Social Care - Carlow Town 28th September: Understanding and Working with Attachment Issues - Swords, Co.Dublin 29th September: Professional Supervision training for Social Care Leaders and Managers - Mitchelstown, Co.She said she left the family home in June and went to a refuge, but her husband tracked her down using the location of her phone.