A 47-year-old man has been before the District Court in Co Kerry charged with 55 counts of rape, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a girl over a six-year period. 

The man's partner, who is also in her 40s, was also before the court, charged with more than 20 counts of sexual assault and sexual exploitation of the same girl.

Both are also facing a number of child neglect charges involving four other children.

The court appearances follow a garda investigation which has been ongoing for almost three-and-a-half years.

Both the man and the woman were arrested by gardaí this morning and were brought separately to the district court in Killarney. 

Sergeant Bridget Foley described the charges as very serious, relating to alleged harm of a grave degree. 

She outlined details of the 134 charges which the man is facing - including 17 counts of rape, 17 of aggravated sexual assault, 16 of sexual assault, five counts of sexual exploitation and one count of making a threat to kill. 

These charges relate to a girl who was in her pre-teen and early teenage years when the abuse is alleged to have occurred. 

The man is facing a further 22 charges of child neglect relating to four other children. 

The man's partner faces a total of 79 charges involving the same five children. These include sexual assault, sexual exploitation and child neglect.

For legal reasons it is not possible to identify the parties in this case. 

Bail on strict conditions was granted to both by Judge David Waters, and both will be back before the court again next Tuesday, 19 November.