Millionaire pimp Peter McCormick behind campaign to legalise prostitution in Ireland.
SLEAZE TO MEET YOU
A CAMPAIGN by sex workers to legalise prostitution is being backed by one of Ireland's top multi-millionaire sleaze merchants.
Convicted pimp Peter McCormick, who makes millions from controlling online sex-for-sale adverts, set up the group after anti-vice campaigners made a push to criminalise the industry.
Anti-sleaze campaigners launched a website called 'Turn Off the Red Light', in which they hoped to end prostitution and sex trafficking in Ireland.
However, a rival site, called 'Turn off the Blue Light', was set up recently by the same design company that set up the lucrative sex website controlled by McCormick.
A Sunday World investigation previously revealed how his partner, Wicklow native Audrey Campbell, is a director of the firm, registered to a business services office in the UK.
Over 700 hookers pay €250 a month to McCormick to tout their services online, even though it is a criminal offence to advertise prostitution in Ireland.
McCormick, who has previously been hit with a €1million tax bill by the Criminal Assets Bureau, has signed his companies over to Campbell.
The sex workers' website claims that only two people - who they say weren't actually prostitutes - were convicted of brothel keeping in the last three years.
However, it conveniently leaves out the fact that McCormick's son, Mark 'Fats', was jailed for running six vice dens in Dublin.
It also fails to mention the case of TJ Carroll, who ran vice rings in Ireland from his base in Wales.
Prosecution witnesses in Carroll's trial told how some African women trafficked to Ireland were first subjected to terrifying voodoo rituals to keep them in line.
Another pimp the website fails to mention was Tony Linnane, who was jailed in 2010 for his brothel business, which he ran for over 20 years.
Last year, the one-time chimney sweep was jailed for 18 months for running brothels in Cork, which generated €80,000 a month. Also convicted was his wife Caroline O'Leary, who hired the hookers that came looking for work.
The decision to start the investigation into Linnane's sex-empire came after reports of rival pimps targeting prostitutes with violence.
It has been claimed that as rival sleaze merchants battled for control, one hooker had petrol thrown over her and was threatened with being set alight.
The sex-workers' website didn't refer either to Romanian Mihai Selaru, who was convicted last year for pimping his girlfriend and her friend after advertising on McCormick's website.
Evidence emerged of how Selaru humiliated and degraded the woman, forcing her to lick his shoes and threatening to starve her.
McCormick now runs his lucrative sleaze empire from the UK and works hard to stay in the background. During 'Fats' McCormick's trial, he was revealed as being a key operator in his dad's sordid business and was described as being a computer whiz.
He pleaded guilty to managing six brothels in Dublin city centre during 2005 and 2006. In documents discovered by cops, a profit of
€220,000 was earmarked to be divided up between three people.
During the Garda operation against the sleaze merchant, there was even a document found on the computer which was described as being a manual on how to run a brothel.
Judge Tony Hunt said McCormick junior was running an "operation of significant sophistication and detailed advance planning".
Peter McCormick, a former RUC officer from Co. Down, was convicted of running a brothel in 2003 and given a suspended jail sentence.
This week Ruhama - an women affected by prostitution - reported that it had helped 80 women, described as being trafficked to Ireland in 2010.
They helped a total of 140 women last year, including a number who testified in court against TJ Carroll and Mihai Selaru.
One former prostitute told Ruhama how she became involved in the sex trade after three years of sexual abuse by a man who sold her for sex.
"When I started escorting on my own, it felt okay at the beginning. I liked the feeling of being in control of the men, and using them for their money," said 'Amy'.
"But I soon realised that actually the men were in control and they weren't afraid to show me that they were in charge.
McCormick's website tries to lend credence to the sex trade with forums and a review section.
"That men will write reviews of their time with a girl is the most disturbing part of the whole thing," added Amy.
The turning point for Amy came when she felt threatened by a customer. "Finally, I had a punter that verged on behaving in an illegal way and it was the reality check I needed to stop. To this man I wasn't even human," she said
She contacted Ruhama and was able to meet a social worker who helped her escape the sex trade.
Eamon Dillon, Sunday World, 28 August 2020
PIMP: Convicted brothel keeper Peter McCormick now runs websites advertising prostitution.