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Galway sees spike in prostitution

Wednesday, 11th November, 2015 1:01am

Galway continues to be a hot spot for prostitution and the organised crime which goes with it. This is according to the Immigration Council of Ireland who revealed new research into the growth of prostitution, particularly online. At least 48 prostitutes are now operating online in Galway which is among the highest in the country after Dublin with 302 and Cork with 79.

These figures, which are based on online profiles across escort agency sites, have been revealed five months after tough new laws were introduced in Northern Ireland which makes it a criminal offence to engage and pay for prostitution services.

Speaking to the Galway Independent, Brian Killoran, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said, "Some of the 60 victims of sex-trafficking we have supported as a frontline agency and independent law centre speak of being abused in Galway and of being moved there to meet the demands of buyers for new women and girls.

"It is worth noting that the numbers of women being advertised in Galway are 500% higher than those in Derry, where sex buyer laws have been in force since June of this year. This shows the urgent need for all local TDs and Senators to ensure swift passage of the new sex crimes bill which includes laws which focus on those whose actions fuel prostitution and the crimes surrounding it."

The spike in numbers in Galway and across the state are as a result of tough new laws in Northern Ireland, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland, and there are now calls for similar laws to be introduced here to make it an all-island approach.

Mr Killoran added that the Immigrant Council of Ireland is one of 73 organisations with 1.6 million members across Ireland who have been seeking for these laws under the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign.

He added that they are proud to count the Galway Rape Crisis Centre, local trade unionists, frontline emergency staff in Galway's hospitals who are members of the IMO and INMO as well as local members of Chambers Ireland, the ICA, Macra na Feirme, the Union of Students in Ireland and many others in the county as their partners.

"The debate has gone on long enough and now it is time for political leadership to ensure the bill which has been introduced in recent weeks by the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, TD becomes law by Christmas and that Galway along with our entire island no longer has safe havens for pimps."

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