Legal aid to be sought in Limerick prostitution case

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A consultant to the Government on transport projects - charged with operating brothels in Limerick and living off the earnings of prostitutes - is likely to apply for legal aid in the case, his defence have said.

A consultant to the Government on transport projects - charged with operating brothels in Limerick and living off the earnings of prostitutes - is likely to apply for legal aid in the case, his defence have said.

Solicitor Ted McCarthy for Thomas Lyons, 54, with an address in Dublin, told Judge Eugene O’Kelly that an application for legal aid will be made at an future hearing in the case, when details of the accused’s financial affairs will be presented to the court.

Speaking in Limerick District Court, Mr McCarthy added that he “understands the State are somewhat sceptical” regarding the application for legal aid given the charges his client faces.

Judge O’Kelly said in light of the nature of the charges he could understand the State’s view at present.

Mr McCarthy said he will be furnishing a comprehensive list of financial affairs for his client, but warned this might take some time.

Sergeant Donal Cronin, Henry Street, said the book of evidence is currently being drafted and should be ready by the end of October.

This May, Mr Lyons was charged with seven counts under the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act, and one count of making a false statement to gardai.

A senior consultant with Atkins Ireland, he has been involved in advising Fingal County Council and designing support services for the Metro West light rail project in Dublin.

Zelandia Silva, 43, from Brazil, is also charged with seven counts under the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act.

Both have been charged with three counts of operating brothels at apartments in Limerick city between August 2010 and June 2011.

They were both also charged with three counts of living off the earnings of prostitution from the apartments they owned or rented at Riverpoint, Bishops Quay, Bridgewater House, Harvey’s Quay in Limerick city, and at Grove Island Road, Corbally. The pair were also charged with one count of organising prostitution at Brown Thomas, O’Connell Street, Limerick, on February 2, 2011. Lyons is also charged with making a false statement to gardai regarding a burglary at an apartment at Riverpoint, Limerick, in August 2010.

In an earlier court hearing, Detective Garda Vincent Brick, Henry Street garda station, said Mr Lyons had been “the subject of a two-and-a-half-year garda surveillance investigation”, and “has assets outside of the country”.

Mr Lyons, The Warrens, Malahide, Co Dublin, and Ms Silva, with an address at The Matthews, O’Callaghan Strand, Limerick, have been remanded on continuing bail until October 31.