DEMAND for sex workers in Limerick via online sites appears to be more than five times higher than cities in Northern Ireland, according to new figures released by the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
The Council carried out a review of escort agency websites last week which found that 55 women were advertising services for sale in Limerick compared to eight in Derry, three in Armagh and three in Newry.
The Limerick Leader found that one Limerick based ‘escort’ agency was claiming that it had 60 ‘new arrivals’ and 16 more women ‘arriving today’, with charges starting at €80.
The Immigrant Council highlight that the “levels of online prostitution in Limerick are running 500% higher” than Derry and other Northern Ireland cities following the introduction of sex buyer laws in the North in June.
Campaigners are now calling on all Limerick deputies and senators to ensure swift implementation of a new Sex Crimes Bill to prevent sex buyers and pimps from Northern Ireland using the south as a safe haven.
Brian Killoran, chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said that in the absence of sex buyer laws “Limerick has become a hotspot for prostitution and the crimes associated with it”.
“While these figures are just a snapshot of online activity they are in line with similar reviews carried out at the time the Northern Ireland laws came into force on June 1 last,” he said.
“Five months after Northern Ireland moved to smash the business model for pimps, traffickers and thugs it seems clear the evil sex trade is seeking to exploit the differences in law between the two jurisdictions on the island.
“These findings show that we must act without delay to ensure that there is no safe haven of pimps in Limerick.”