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

Gardaí began a criminal investigation after an adult came forward and claimed she had been abused as a child in the early 1990s.

The allegations related to a man in his 60s, who lived in south Dublin and held a senior position in the IRA.

Two detectives from a north Dublin station travelled to Alicante last year and interviewed the man.

A file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions who directed that the man face four charges in connection with the alleged abuse.

The man, originally from Northern Ireland, was arrested on Tuesday and brought to Madrid where he appeared in court yesterday.

He is now in custody pending further proceedings in connection with his extradition.