Sex Still Sells

The extent of the prostitution problem in Limerick was underlined last week when it was claimed that up to 15 women are working from one building in the city center.

While on-street prostitution is not as prevalent as it was in the past, prostitutes are openly “touting for business” from a number of brothels in the city. It is suspected that more than a dozen women from Romania are living at one premises in the city center which has been identified by Gardai (police) as a brothel.

“There are 14 or 15 of them living there. They have the entire building,” said one businessperson who lives near the building.

Garda sources have downplayed claims of sex trafficking as they suspect the majority of the women have voluntarily chosen to travel to Limerick to work in the sex trade due to the large amounts of money they can earn.

“There is no indication that they have been trafficked or anything like that. They are sex workers,” said one source.

One prostitute said she had chosen to work as a prostitute in Limerick.

The Romanian national, who has been living in the city for four years, said most of her clients have been older men who are not married or separated.

She would not disclose how much money she is earning from prostitution.

While there has been a greater Garda presence in the area where the brothel is located in recent weeks, she told RTE reporter Brian O’Connell that she did not believe prostitution will be stopped.

“This is normal. We are safe and clean and it is never going to stop. All over the world nobody has stopped this business and you never can do that,” she said.

In a new strategy, which came into effect on August 1, Gardai have begun serving Antisocial Behavior Orders (ASBOs) on women they suspect are loitering for the purposes of prosecution.

A number of Romanian women are currently before the courts for alleged breaches of such orders.

If they are convicted, they can be ordered by the court to stay away from specified areas of the city for up to two years.
- Limerick Leader

Pitbull Attack

A four-year-old Tralee girl had a miracle escape recently when she was almost mauled by a crazed, stray and un-muzzled pitbull that launched a vicious and bloody attack on another dog in her estate.

Vicki Kennelly was walking one of her two Huskies close to her home in Shanakill when the frenzied pitbull attacked her pet.

The Husky, named Neeko, was badly injured but the terrifying incident could have been much worse.

When the pitbull attacked, Kennelly had stopped to speak with a friend and her young four-year-old daughter who was stroking Neeko as the pitbull attacked.

Spotting danger at the last possible second, Neeko knocked the little girl out of the way saving her from the vicious dog's jaws by mere inches.

Kennelly said that while she's devastated that her dog was attacked and mutilated she thanked God nothing had happened to the child.

"If he hadn't bumped her out of the way she would have been right in the middle of them. I don't know what would have happened," she said.

The child's mother Ann Marie Murphy described the injured Husky as her daughter's "guardian angel."

"Neeko was a hero. If he didn't push her out of the way my daughter would have been caught in the middle and she wouldn't have had a chance," she said.
-The Kerryman

New Mom Theft

A mother had her wallet, phone and business bank cards stolen at one of the country's main maternity hospitals while she was giving birth to a baby boy.

Jill Leonard and Adrian O'Connor were delighted with the arrival of their son, Kane, at University Maternity Hospital in Limerick on Friday, August 23.

However, upon returning to her ward, she discovered that her wallet containing bank cards, cash, driver's license and other belongings, including her smart phone, had been stolen.

The theft has been reported to Gardai and investigations are ongoing.

"It certainly changed the day for us, unfortunately. I felt sick, it's hard to even talk about it," Leonard said.

"When we came back to the ward from the delivery room Adrian noticed after a while that a few things were gone – my phone, my wallet with everything in it. And then we realized we had been robbed at the time that I was giving birth," she said.

The couple have another son, Jack, two, who was born in the U.S.

They moved to Clare two years ago where O'Connor is from and run the Black Umbrella Photography company.

"I had my own personal bank cards and the company bank cards in the wallet that was taken," Leonard said.

She said while being robbed as she gave birth to her son was a very unpleasant and upsetting experience, it had not colored her view of Ireland.

In a statement, the Health Service Executive said, "In common with every major hospital in the country, we strongly discourage patients from bringing valuables such as cash, cards and smart phones with them.”
- Evening Herald

Oil Burners Stolen

A Larne Road pensioner's back garden has been left "looking like a building site" after heartless thieves stole her heating oil burner twice in the last 10 months.

On both occasions, robbers cut the pipe to the tank causing oil to seep out all over the yard of the Housing Executive house. For the last year the 62-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been living with the stench of oil which is so strong even her neighbors can't open their windows.

After the first oil burner was stolen back in November it took six months for the contaminated soil to be removed, which then left a crater so large it covers most of the backyard. The woman claims the Housing Executive also took weeks to replace the first oil burner and left her with inadequate blow heaters.

But during the installation of the new burner the pipe was left protruding from the boiler’s protective cover which prevented the doors from being closed and locked.

Then, between the night of August 20 and the early hours of August 21, thieves stole the new burner, 24 hours after it was installed, causing heating oil to spill out into the large crater
“The stress of all of this, and the mess that has been left behind, is definitely having an affect on my health. The thefts are bad enough but the smell of oil is so bad, it makes your eyes sting and sticks in your throat,” the pensioner said.

"I am terrified they will return. I have no idea why they keep picking me but I just want it to stop.”
The Housing Executive said it was aware the ongoing problem was "very distressing" for the resident.

"There has been ongoing vandalism at the property involving the oil tank and burner.  We have now replaced the burner for a second time and provided extra security to secure it,” a statement said.

“We will also speak to the householder to see if we can reach agreement on any further measures we can put in place to combat this vandalism.  We are very aware that this ongoing problem has all been very distressing for the lady concerned, so we did offer her temporary accommodation while the problems were resolved. However she has decided to stay in her own home," the statement concluded.
- Ballymena Guardian

Livestock Stolen

Gardai have issued a warning to farmers after a recent spate of livestock thefts across the border regions.

Recently 14 bullocks were stolen from a field near Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, resulting in a loss of over €25,000 for the farmer.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) said it has been made aware of an increase in incidents of stolen livestock, while the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) said cattle rustling was a recurring problem in the south Tyrone area.

It’s estimated that at least 173 cattle have disappeared in the border areas since January 2012.

Barclay Bell, spokesman for the UFU, said a number of sheep have also been stolen in farm raids.

“Up until now, it’s probably something farmers haven’t thought an awful lot about. I suppose we reckoned that when our livestock were in our fields they were safe,” Bell said.

“Every time one of these animals is stolen now, you can be talking up to €1,500 and it is a huge financial drain on the agricultural industry.”

He said he believed the proximity of the border was a critical factor in livestock theft in south Tyrone.
“It’s so convenient to get stock shifted quickly,” Bell added.

Irish Daily Star

Doctor’s call: Workers sort through ballet papers after junior doctors voted whether to take industrial action over working conditions.Photocall Ireland