Four Romanian women, aged 21, 22, 23 and 30, were arrested at an address in Galway on 29 October 2016 and pleaded guilty straight away to operating a brothel. A Garda witness said Gardaí believed the young, vulnerable Romanian women were trafficked into Ireland by a criminal gang. However the young women denied this and claimed they were acting alone to raise money for their impoverished families in Romania. A Garda witness disputed this saying “In any event they are four little girls and they made full admissions that they were providing sexual services to a large number of men through the website, Escort Ireland. They were paying €700 rent to a greedy landlord for an apartment that they should have been paying €350 for. So, they were being used and abused by a lot of people”. He went on to say “I believe they are under the control of Dublin or Belfast-based pimps. They were in Mayo last week, Galway this week and Wexford next week. That would have to be organised by others. They wouldn’t have the wherewithal to organise that themselves”. Gardaí had confiscated €5,000 cash from the women. The solicitor for the women said all came from a very poor area in Romania and they told him they had come to Ireland to make some money to help their parents, some of whom were seriously ill. “They are somewhat vulnerable and they didn’t believe their actions would bring them before the courts. They have spent two nights in Garda custody and it’s been a frightening experience for them,” he added. It was reported that the four women were huddled together in court, at times biting their nails and wiping away tears, whilst a Romanian interpreter explained what was being said to them. Ruling the girls were being used by others not before the court the judge convicted and fined each of them €200.