Wednesday 17 January 2018

Prostitute numbers here soar on international rugby weekends

JIM CUSACK

The number of foreign prostitutes working in Dublin has increased dramatically over this weekend and the subsequent two international rugby fixtures here, according to garda sources.

The influx of sex workers for the rugby games is an annual event and gardai who have been monitoring the vice trade in Dublin estimate that the average number of between 200 to 300 prostitutes working in the city is likely to double over the weeks of the international series.

Prostitutes working out of apartments and hotel rooms in Dublin can make up to €1,000 a day, according to gardai. While many are thought to be working voluntarily, there is residual concern about foreign criminals behind trafficking young men and women here.

Websites advertising prostitution showed an increase in numbers of young women, young men and transgender prostitutes working in the city last week.

On Tuesday, the first episode of the Prime Time Investigates series on RTE since the controversy over the Fr Kevin Reynolds debacle returns with an examination of the vice trade in Ireland.

In a press release yesterday, RTE said the documentary exposed the "frightening reality for women involved in prostitution across the cities and towns of Ireland".

RTE said the programme would reveal the identities of people profiting from prostitution in Ireland. The broadcaster said: "On any given day there are up to 700 women advertising sex for sale on escort agency websites that circumvent Irish law. More than 90 per cent of the women online advertise as independent escorts, supposedly free from controlling pimps. The opposite is the sordid truth, as Prime Time can reveal."

A six-month investigation, it says, "goes right to the heart of organised prostitution", and "goes face to face with the pimps behind the criminal networks spanning the country and uses cutting-edge technology to trail hundreds of women being moved, almost without trace, all over Ireland".

The programme examines the case of one 19-year-old prostitute in Co Kildare who, it says, is working 14 hours a day, seven days a week from a room she rarely leaves.

It also looks at instances of prostitutes "barely out of their teens" in brothels in Ennis, Dundalk, Cavan, Athlone and Dublin. The programme makers say they will also reveal the identity of the boss of an 'escort agency' interviewing a potential new recruit.

The episode is the first in the Prime Time Investigates series since last November when the programme was taken off the air after revelations that false allegations had been made against missionary priest, Fr Kevin Reynolds.

RTE says the prostitution programme has been made in keeping with guidelines set down as a result of an examination of the background to the false allegations about Fr Reynolds.

Sunday Independent

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