The dangers of working under Ireland’s red light

Orginally published in the Irish Daily Star, November 2016.

A MAN posed as a garda before threatening and forcing a call girl into performing oral sex in a hotel room in Sligo.

That’s just one of the horror stories shared by sex workers here who are regularly attacked, robbed and scammed by local punters.

The reports, used to alert those in the sex trade of dangerous clients, appear on the Support and Advice for Escorts (Saafe) website.

The online forum not only allows escorts to give each other advice, but also name and shame dangerous clients, even posting their telephone numbers.

Although primarily used by those in the UK sex trade, it has a large Irish following and is used by many escorts here, some too afraid to report crimes to gardai.

Amongst the harrowing stories across Ireland includes a call girl who was left for dead by a violent client in Wicklow.

Posting an alert on the site ‘Jessica’ told how the man, whom she had met once before, launched a vicious, unprovoked attack as she led him into her apartment.

While I was walking to the bedroom in the hallway he bang a motorbike helmet on my head from behind.

I turn and he start bashing my head and face with the helmet. I scream my lungs out for help.

I don’t remember but police told me later that I managed to get to the door and was half in half out when a neighbour save my life by pulling me out the apartment.

If the neighbour didn’t do so I probably be dead by now. The guy then jumps from the bedroom window and runs away.

I don’t remember anything else until I wake up in the morning in the hospital.”

The woman was left with serious facial injuries as well as a missing tooth.

Ireland is dangerous and there are a lots of crazy and frustrated people,” she warned. “We cannot trust anybody, not even regulars anymore,” she said.

In another alert posted on the site’s ‘Warnings and Wasters’ board, a call girl who travelled from the UK was seriously sexually assaulted by a man posing as a gard.

It happened in a hotel in Sligo where the man, who produced a firearms licence, threatened her before forcing her into performing a number of sex acts.

He said he was a police man and he was going to go and alert the hotel and have her arrested if she didn’t do as he asked.” a friend of the escort wrote.

He showed her a firearms card and naively she believed him. He forced her into oral and sex and was laughing and saying how much he loved hurting girls and having the power over them.

She was crying her eyes out and he said that all the girls he’s raped have cried and he laughed really hard.”

Her attacker left the hotel room leaving the call girl so distressed, she packed up her belongings and left.

In Ennis, Co Clare, another escort was threatened over the phone before being told to leave an envelope of cash outside the hotel room she was working from.

Posting the telephone number of the alleged blackmailer, she added: “I had a more threats yesterday, starting from lunch time telling me I had until 3pm to pay up. I decided to leave the hotel.”

In Derry another ‘touring’ call girl warned sex workers to be vigilant after she escaped an attempted robbery.

The escort told how two “hooded and masked young men” attempted to force their way into her apartment but fled after realising she was with a client.

I suspect it was a client from earlier, now which one it was is any ones guess, as I have been quite busy for the last week of my tour here.

The scary thing about all this is I am in a relatively secure building.

I doubt I will be back in Ireland, unless I have an armed bodyguard with me! This is too stressful, and it really isn’t worth the headache.”

In Dublin an escort and her friend also had a lucky escape after a late night booking turned sinister.

After leaving the punter in her room to fetch a glass of water, the escort was stunned when he rushed out after her and attempted to pull a weapon from his pocket.

My friend (also present in the room) pushed him, I went behind him and opened the door and between us we pushed him out, while babbling crap about another client.”

Reports posted on the site also revealed how prostitutes regularly fall victim to fraudsters and scammers.

Saafe user ‘Crazyshe’ said he’d been duped into travelling to Ireland by a man who claimed to be a banker.

The man, who was around six foot, in his mid 30s with brown hair, left her high and dry in a city centre hotel after promising to pay for her flights and services.

Uploading his mobile number to the page she said: “He’ll meet you then says he’s getting you something to eat from hotel and clears off leaving you in lurch. He’s a scammer and cheat.”

The site is also used by some escorts to post reviews of their clients, with Irish men seeming to fall below some basic hygiene standards.

In Ireland I have never encountered so many men with hygiene issues, it is mind boggling,” said one user.

Let’s just say it wasn’t infrequent to have my sheets soiled several time a day by clients who had just taken a shower!”


Published by Patricia Devlin

Award winning journalist based in Ireland covering crime and investigations.

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