TWO 20-year-old women have pleaded guilty to brothel-keeping in a self-catering cottage adjoining a Killarney hotel complex a week ago.
Killarney District Court heard the women were “self-employed”, there was no question of trafficking, and they had moved around Ireland since January. The Slovakian women had not understood their activity was illegal here.
They had more than €8,000 in their possession when arrested on May 26, within days of checking into the Killarney premises, the court also heard.
Judge Olan Kelleher refused a plea from the women’s solicitor to allow a contribution to the court poor box to avoid conviction. The judge said the matter was a criminal offence and carried a maximum sentence of six months in jail.
He also said he would not use the term “self-employed” to describe their activity.
He imposed a fine of €850 each.
Silvia Szelepcesenyiova, aged 20, and Simona Bruienicova, aged 20, from Bratislava, had booked into Cottage No 28 at Castlerosse Hotel, Killarney, on May 23. As a result of a complaint by management, gardaí set up a surveillance operation the next day and on May 26 a warrant to search the premises was obtained.
Det James Murphy said both women were taken to Killarney Garda Station where they made admissions about obtaining money for certain services.
The had been in Ireland since January, based in Galway, Dublin and other parts of the country. the garda said. He accepted they were driven by economic necessity and there was no question of trafficking.
Large sums of money were found — one of the women had €6,000 in cash and the other had €2,300, Det Murphy said.
An interpreter was assigned to the women in court.
The women’s solicitor Liam Ryan said they had returned from Slovakia to face the court yesterday and were departing again on June 10. Their activity was not illegal in Slovakia, his clients had told him, and they had not understood the position in this country.
They were self-employed “for want of a better word” and had used the internet to advertise their services, Mr Ryan said. They had no previous convictions in this country.
The women paid their fines.
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