Ireland a 'destination of choice for prostitution'
About 800 profiles are online daily advertising prostitutes in every county in Ireland, an Oireachtas committee has heard.Ireland had become the "destination of choice" for prostitution because of the economic boom and the expansion of the EU, Garda Supt Fergus Healy, from Garda headquarters, said.
Some of the profiles were duplicates and several might represent the same woman, but the figure gave an indication of the extent of prostitution here, he said. There had been a rise in the number of foreign women involved, with most coming from eastern Europe and China.
The Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence was hearing evidence yesterday in a review of the legislation on prostitution.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said there is a need for change in the law given the changes in the nature of prostitution.
The use of mobile phones had "significantly increased" prostitution, with most of the trade driven off the streets and into rented apartments, Supt Healy said.
In one raid on a brothel, 35 mobile phones were found, most linked exclusively to prostitution.
Garda figures showed that since 2010 there were 46 convictions of brothel-keepers; 41 for people who solicited prostitution; and 29 for loitering for prostitution.
There were just four convictions for organising prostitution and two for "living off the earnings of prostitution".