Mayor calls for crackdown on city brothel boom

Galway city mayor Padraig Conneely repeated his call for the gardai to do more to stop the “booming trade” of a city centre brothel, adding that he continues to be concerned about human trafficking.

However, chief superintendent for the Galway Garda Division, Tom Curley stressed that the situation continues to be closely monitored, that investigations are taking place, and that evidence has to be gathered before suspected brothels can be shut down.

Mayor Conneely once again raised the issue at this week’s meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee. He told JPC members that there were two brothels, one operating in the city centre near a church and the other in the suburbs. A “concerned citizen” monitored the city centre brothel during a four-hour period during which time 17 people visited the apartment where there were a “number of people trading their wears” for €100.

Mayor Conneely then put it to Chief Supt Curley and Supt Marie Skehill whether or not gardai have visited the brothel to deal with the matter. He added that the issue was raised at a previous JPC meeting.

Supt Skehill replied that an investigation is taking place and that it was not possible to comment on individual cases. Chief Supt Curley further explained: “Soliciting on the street is an offence. This is working out of an apartment. We have to get the information to prosecute successfully. It has to go to court before it can be closed down and the owner of the business has to be established. There is a process that has to be followed.”

At the previous JPC meeting last October it was revealed that a number of undercover and surveillance operations are being carried out by gardai in relation to the two suspected brothels and organised prostitution taking place in the city.

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