A senior figure in the IRA has appeared in court in Spain on foot of an extradition request by Irish authorities in connection with alleged child abuse.

The man, who is in his 60s, was arrested in Alicante yesterday.

He is wanted to face four charges in connection with historic abuse allegation.

Gardaí began a criminal investigation after a woman came forward claiming she had been abused as a child in the early 1990s.

The man, who is originally from Belfast, lived in south Dublin before moving to Spain.

Two detectives travelled to Alicante to interview him last year.

A file was sent to the DDP, who directed that he face four charges in connection with the allegations.

Following his arrest yesterday he was brought to Madrid where he appeared in court and is now in custody pending further proceedings in connection with extradition.