Irish police have been given permission to publish the photograph of a mystery teenage girl believed to have been smuggled into Ireland as a sex slave.

Police had pleaded with Dublin’s High Court to be allowed to release the photos to the world press in a bid to identify her.

The girl was found in a distressed state outside Dublin’s General Post Office on O’Connell Street.

Her identity remains a mystery, although police are convinced she is Eastern European.

The girl has been in the care of the Irish health service since she was discovered by officers in Dublin’s main street.

Their investigations have led them to believe that the teenager was sexually abused after her arrival in Ireland.

She speaks little or no English and has been communicating with detectives via a series of drawings, many of them said to be graphic and disturbing.

The Irish Times reports that the High Court has granted An Garda Síochána (police) permission to release information about the girl.

Justice George Birmingham granted police an order under Section 31.2 of the 1991 Child Care Act allowing them, in the exercise of their operational discretion, to release information concerning the teen to the print and broadcast media.

Lawyers for the police commissioner told the Court that investigation had ‘hit a brick wall’ and officers had reached ‘a deadlock’ in their efforts to identify the girl.

The court heard detectives had exhausted every possible avenue but were unable to establish who the girl is, where she comes from or who her family is.

They applied to the court for permission to release information, including a picture, to the media, which could help identify her.

Officers believe that a criminal offence has been committed against the girl.

The girl’s court appointed guardian supported the police application and said it was in the girl’s best interests that steps be taken to identify her.

Judge Birmingham had held off making a final decision to give a few more days to allow the girl to stabilise, but he said on Friday that he is now ‘satisfied’ to make the order.