A 70-year-old man has appeared before Castlebar District Court charged with child sexual assault offences.

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested two days ago in Claremorris, Co Mayo.

He is charged with taking, restraining or restricting the personal liberty of a child for the purposes of sexual exploitation under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

The offence carries a potential 14-year prison sentence.

Gardaí said the accused made no reply when charged.

Gardaí objected to bail, telling Judge Mary Devins the accused posed a significant flight risk.

They added that further charges were also being considered. 

The man, who has previously lived in the UK, said he was prepared to surrender his British passport and had €2,000 available for bail purposes.

He said his permanent residence was in Co Mayo.

He added that he had been involved over the years in fundraising for charitable causes.

Judge Devins said there were sufficient grounds for her to refuse bail.

She remanded the accused in custody to appear at Harristown Court on Friday.

An application for legal aid was deferred.