Dublin man Matthew Horan, who sexually exploited girls as young as nine through social media, has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years, with the final two years suspended.

Horan, from St John's Crescent in Clondalkin, used Snapchat, Instagram, musical.ly and Kik to ask young girls to send him sexually explicit videos and pictures.

The 26-year-old gathered thousands of images of the girls after obtaining them through various apps.

In one case, he threatened an 11-year-old that he would circulate naked pictures of her to her friends if she refused to send him more.

He also recorded video and audio conversations with the children on Skype, including 60 videos of two nine-year-olds with whom he had contact.

He was convicted on charges of child exploitation involving 15 children online and the distribution of child abuse images, among other offences.

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Sentencing Horan, Judge Martin Nolan said to describe his actions as "depraved" was an understatement.

He described Horan as a person with a debased interest in sex and an "unhealthy and insidious interest in children," adding all of the crimes were committed for his own "indulgence and pleasure".

Judge Nolan said anyone who had listened to the evidence in relation to the conversations he held online with children "could not but be appalled" by their content.

He added that Horan had "exploited children in a horrible way", which would have long-terms effects on his victims and their families.

Judge Nolan said Horan was an "inadequate" individual who was "incapable" of forming normal relationships and who led an "introverted and lonely life".

Referencing mitigating circumstances put forward by his defence counsel, in relation to his childhood and medical evidence of his being on the autism spectrum, Judge Nolan said while taking all of this into account it "didn't mean he didn't know what he was doing was wrong".

He sentenced him to nine-and-a-half years in prison, with the final two years suspended.

Judge Nolan said at some point in the future Horan would be released from prison and he was seeking a report from the Probation Service as to what type of intervention could take place while he is in prison to "reform" him.

Speaking outside court after sentencing, Detective Superintendent Declan Daly said: "Today serves as a timely reminder of the dangers that can occur on the internet."