‘Oldest profession’ rubs workers up wrong way

By Liam Heylin

A solicitor, an engineer, and an auctioneer have objected to working cheek by jowl with the oldest profession in the world on the South Mall in Cork.

The three professionals working at 17 South Mall became concerned about the opening of a spa and body massage service on the first floor of the building.

Barrister Kieran Hughes brought the application on behalf of a solicitor, engineer, and auctioneer to close the first-floor business.

He brought the application against the owner and landlord of the building, Liam Lynch, saying Mr Lynch “has caused the first floor to be occupied by the oldest profession in the world”.

Mr Hughes said the gardaí had obtained a search warrant to search the first-floor spa and body massage business.

Donnchadh McCarthy, defending, objected to evidence being called yesterday from An Garda Síochána and said Mr Lynch had decided to terminate the lease of the first floor.

Judge Gerard O’Brien said he would hear the evidence in relation to the Garda search.

Detective Garda Daniel McEnery and a garda colleague went to search the premises on the first floor of 17 South Mall, Cork, on August 30, as a result of a surveillance operation.

He said two arrests were made in connection with the alleged organising of prostitution at the premises.

Mr McCarthy suggested, on behalf of Mr Lynch: “If it [the first floor] was vacated that would deal with the issue on the first floor, that would deal with the issue?”

The detective said: “Yes. Not with all our issues.”

Mr Lynch, an auctioneer and owner of the building, was asked if he would take all steps within his power to have the first floor vacated. He said he would.

Mr Hughes, for the applicant, asked the owner of the building, “Do you have difficulty communicating by way of letter with people who write to you?”

Mr Lynch replied that he did not have any difficulty with that.

Mr Hughes said: “You just don’t respond. That is why we are here today.”

Mr Hughes asked Mr Lynch what he meant by immediate action.

Mr Lynch said that a woman acting on his behalf told him she would get the key back for the first floor of the building on Thursday.

Mr McCarthy pointed out that the letting agreement for the first-floor was for one year. Mr Hughes suggested that the alleged activities in relation to prostitution would represent a fundamental breach of a letting agreement by way of creating a nuisance.

Mr Hughes added: “Some people would regard this as a nuisance.”

Judge O’Brien listed the case for mention again at Cork Circuit Court on October 18.

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