Sex worker (73) was trying to pay for son's kidney transplant operation
A 73-year-old Brazilian prostitute may be the oldest prostitute plying her trade in the country.
Terezinha Aparecida de Jesus was running and working in a brothel in Co Kildare when most people her age are enjoying their retirement.
Last week, she walked free from court because she planned to return home as soon as the court case was over.
During the hearing at Naas District Court, Judge Desmond Zaidan asked her lawyer if people were paying €80 to have sex with a 73-year-old woman.
"It would appear that way," said a garda witness who also said a younger person appeared in the online advert.
The court heard a younger woman had been advertising on a sex-for-sale website, but de Jesus was the only person found working there by gardai.
She said she was running the brothel in a backstreet to pay for her 40-year-old son's kidney transplant.
She also wanted to return home to her seriously ill 98-year-old mother.
The terraced house in Basin Street, Naas, was put under surveillance after a complaint had been made by a member of the public.
When gardai paid a visit to the house on November 9, 2016, de Jesus was seeking €80 for sex and she was the only person on the premises.
Another younger woman was involved but was not there at the time of the offence, according to the garda witness.
Officers found just €80 in cash at the property.
Gardai said de Jesus had arrived in Ireland just days before the raid and only had a single customer.
She is believed to be one of the oldest people to come before the courts in connection with the sex trade.
But while the vast majority of prostitutes are in their 20s or 30s, there are also a number of significantly older women working.
She held a European passport and had been in Ireland on previous occasions, said de Jesus's defence lawyer, Matt Byrne.
She had no previous convictions of any kind and she wanted to go home to Brazil, he added.
"I don't believe she will return to Ireland," he said. Asking that a jail sentence not be imposed, he added that she was "extremely embarrassed" and was not a person of financial means.
When asked by Judge Zaidan if her son knew what she was doing in Ireland, Mr Byrne said the he did not and she was only doing it to save him.
Gardai said that they did not believe anyone had been forced to work in the brothel after the judge expressed fears that people could be open to abuse by people running brothels.
De Jesus, who wept during the hearing and had the assistance of a Portuguese interpreter for the proceedings, pleaded guilty to allowing the house to be used as a brothel.
Judge Zaidan applied the Probation Act on the basis that she was going back to Brazil.
He ordered that the money found at the brothel go to the State and suggested it could be given to an organisation that helps women involved in the sex trade.