TWO Slovakian women who were running a brothel from a hotel did not realise they were committing a crime, a court has heard.
Simona Brutenicova (30) and Silvia Szelepcsenyiova (31) yesterday pleaded guilty to running a brothel at a holiday apartment at the Castleross Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry, on May 26. Judge Olan Kelleher fined each of them €850 for the offence at Killarney District Court.
Detective Garda Jim Murphy told the court gardai carried out a surveillance operation at the hotel following a complaint by management.
Gardai set up the surveillance operation on May 23 and obtained a warrant three days later and searched the premises.
Ms Brutenicova, of Rovnianaowa, Petrzalka, Bratislava, and Ms Szelepcsenyiova, of Ruzinou, Rezedova, Bratislava, were found with large amounts of cash in their possession. One had €6,000 and the other €2,300.
However, the garda said there was no question they were part of a trafficking set-up and they had come to Ireland of their own volition. They had been in Ireland since January but had since returned to Slovakia and only came back here to answer the charges.
Their solicitor Liam Ryan said neither woman had any previous convictions and they had not realised the seriousness of the offence.
"They tell me it is legal in their own country and they didn't realise the seriousness of it in this jurisdiction," Mr Ryan said.
He added that both were due to return to Slovakia on Friday.