By Ann Murphy
Sex workers are charging up to €2,400 a day in Cork in hotels and apartments across the city and county.
The escorts advertise a range of services online, with many jetting into Cork from cities across the world to target local clients.
There are up to 100 operating daily in the city and in county towns.
Some arrive in Cork for just one day, while others are here for up to a week at a time.
One escort posted online that she charges up to €2,400 for a full day “call out” rate.
A dinner date with the same escort is €400, while a half day in her company is €1,200.
Among her services is a “girlfriend experience”, as well as many sexual services.
Her profile on the website carries the proviso:
Another escort charges a cheaper rate of €2,000 for a day but has a higher dinner rate of €600.
The majority of those advertised on the website did not offer half or full day rates, or rates for dinner. Instead, the prices were per hour, with the average being €200 per hour.
The age profile typically ranges from 18 to 30, although there are advertisements from older escorts.
The individual profiles give the details for when they are available in Cork, with many here for just a few days before travelling to another city in Ireland or to their own countries. Others were just here for one day before moving on.
Nationalities included South American, Eastern European, and African.
The escorts were mostly female. However, the profile of one of those offering a full day service claimed to be from a lady boy. The profile stated: “I love Ireland and I love travelling to all your wonderful Irish cities, I never spend a long time in the same place so don’t miss the chance to have your magical moment with me.”
It is not known whether those on the site work independently or if they are part of an organised prostitution operation.
Mary Crilly of the Cork Sexual Violence Centre said that there have been cases where women working in the sex trade have contacted the centre for help — either because they were trafficked or because they were attacked during an encounter.
While acknowledging that some women do become prostitutes of their free will, she said it is appalling that young girls think it is a glamorous way of life.
She added: ”It is about buying somebody else’s body.”
Gardaí in Cork say there is no evidence that sex trafficking is hugely prevalent in the area at present but have appealed for information on the trafficking crimes.
This story first appeared in the Evening Echo.