A judge has described a couple as “essential and vital cogs in the machine” which operated a Clare brothel.
Judge Patrick Durcan imposed a suspended three-month prison term on Eamon Ryan, aged 54, and on Fokyee Anderson, aged 48, both of Glenmaroon Rd, Palmerstown, Dublin.
They had both pleaded guilty to permitting an Ennis property to be used as a brothel on December 18, 2018.
The couple was charged after a Garda raid on 31 The Crescent, Ennis, found two Chinese women, one aged 62 and another aged 50, working as prostitutes on that date.
Ryan and Anderson were also in the property.
John Casey, solicitor for the two accused, admitted that the case was “seedy” at Ennis District Court.
Judge Patrick Durcan said the two accused were “essential and vital cogs in the machine” of operating the brothel.
“The overall nature of this industry is hugely abusive of women and the two played a role in that business," the judge said. "They were under no illusions about the activity they were entering into.”
He said the two accused “had free B&B down the country” and Anderson received €5 for each booking and Ryan got his expenses.
When Sgt Aiden Lonergan confirmed the two women working as prostitutes were aged in their 50s and 60s, Judge Durcan asked: “Sixties?” to which the garda replied: “Yes judge.”
Sgt Lonergan said Ryan admitted to driving the women around the country while Anderson took the bookings and took €5 for each. He said there is no evidence of trappings of wealth or that the two accused had coerced or trafficked the women concerned.
The sergeant said that when the two women who worked as prostitutes were interviewed by gardaí, they said they were not being pressurised.
Sgt Lonergan said that the two are no longer in the country.
Solicitor for the accused, John Casey, stated that Ryan only got “petrol money” and got no other benefit for his involvement whatsoever and Anderson got €5 per booking.
Mr Casey said: “They treated this as a holiday in the country. This wasn’t a professional operation. They were making no money out of it.”
He said Ryan is a full time carer for his cousin and Anderson has a grandchild in Hong Kong.
“It is seedy Judge, but I would ask you to take into account their good record and their co-operation with the gardaí,” the solicitor said, adding the two co-operated fully “and maybe gave too much information”.