Prostitutes return to Limerick city despite garda crack down

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

A GANG of “aggressive” prostitutes have been driven from the streets of Limerick in recent days following another garda crackdown.

A GANG of “aggressive” prostitutes have been driven from the streets of Limerick in recent days following another garda crackdown.

Following the recent impact of Operation Freewheel, which saw a number of men from County Limerick charged with soliciting prostitutes, the vice trade had taken a hammering in the city.

But in the last week a new and more overt group of prostitutes have returned to the city’s streets, and were more aggressive, “bolder and more forward” than ever before, according to business owners in the area.

Shop owner Shane Gleeson confirmed to the Limerick Leader: “There is definitely a group of them back.

“They reappeared in the last week, that is when they have been most visible. They seem to be a completely different gang and if anything, they are more aggressive than the previous crowd. They are hassling people”.

He added that the group of prostitutes - including one who was brazenly parading in illuminous orange boots - were “a completely different gang than before, bolder, noisier, more forward - they are exceptionally forward”.

However, Mr Gleeson, whose family have operated Gleeson’s Shop in the city for four generations, paid tribute to the quick actions of local gardai, who he said “have been fantastic” in dealing with the problem.

Superintendent Frank O’Brien, Henry Street station, recently said in the aftermath of Operation Freewheel that the issue of tackling prostitution in Limerick would remain an ongoing one and was a priority of gardai, despite not having “the luxury” of a unit dedicated specifically to tackling it.