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TOP GARDA IS TO DRIVE EU'S NET VICE WAR.

Byline: CATHAL MCMAHON CRIME REPORTER

A SENIOR officer who tracked down hundreds of paedophiles has landed a senior role with Europol.

Det Insp Paul Gillen will be head of operations at the new European Cyber Crime Centre in The Hague.

The Dubliner, 47, has been involved in scores of online cases including the notorious Lying Eyes case of Sharon Collins.

Through his work with the Garda Computer Crime Investigation Unit, he has helped catch many perverts trading images of abused children.

The Justice Minister congratulated him on his new appointment.

Alan Shatter said: "It is a wonderful achievement and a great reflection not just on him personally, but also on the Garda Siochana and indeed Ireland.

"It is particularly significant this appointment, which was made following a competitive process confined to serving police officers throughout Europe, should take place early in Ireland's presidency of the European Union."

Mr Gillen joined the Garda when he was 18 after walking into his local station in north inner city Dublin.

However, his early career was marred in tragedy after his roommate Gary Sheehan, 23, was killed in an exchange of gunfire between the IRA, gardai and army in Leitrim.

Mr Gillen was kidnapped by the republicans who were holding supermarket chief Don Tidey.

He survived and later received a Masters Degree in Computer Science.

On appointment to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, Mr Gillen was assigned responsibility for the Computer Crime Investigation Unitand special liaison to the National Cyber Security Centre.

He has national and international experience in IT security and crime.

Mr Gillen will be on special leave without pay from the Garda for the duration of his term with Europol.

The centre is to become the focal point in the EU's fight against online vice, contributing to faster reactions in the event of cyber attacks.

Mr Shatter added: "Tackling cyber crime, which has no borders, is a priority for Ireland and Europe.

"As chairperson of the Government's task force on Emergency Planning, which includes an inter-departmental committee on cyber security, I am only too aware of the threats cyber crime poses to citizens, commercial activities and, most importantly, children."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jan 12, 2013
Words:364
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