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Rash of activity on the way as escort agencies hit Galway Races

The Galway Races is a major attraction for the glamorous girls of the 'escort' business who find rich pickings at the Ireland's biggest racing festival.

"For escorts there is simply no other event like the seven-day racing festival in the Irish social calendar" says Patricia Albright, founder of an escort directory.

"It wouldn't be the same without escorts. Irish men have come to know they can always get lucky at the Galway Races. It is famous for attracting a massive volume of horny Irish men to the region. Galway will be flooded with punters from tomorrow, a great many of whom will be hoping to enjoy more than just a flutter on the horses."

She continued: "Even men who don't normally avail of escort services know they are available in Galway during Race Week, because in years past escort agencies have blitzed the area with flyers. For many men, the Galway Races represents the best opportunity they'll get all year to have a few days away from home -- and with all the drinking and gambling going on anyway it's only natural thoughts turn to other vices."

With the supply never exceeding the demand, escorts are guaranteed to make some easy money in a short space of time. Albright explained: "Usually any escort visiting Galway during race week will be inundated with bookings. There aren't so many agencies around now as there used to be, but there are plenty of independent escorts in their place. There are 40-odd escorts advertised in Galway on today, but we already know that figure will be going up dramatically in the coming days."

With many Irish men decamping to Galway for the races and the two corporate floors of the new Killanin Stand now already full for five days, the city is bracing itself for an annual invasion of punters who will 'splash the cash'.

With the event generating €80m for the region, new leader of the Progressive Democrats, Ciaran Cannon, who hails from Galway and who recently called for the legalisation of prostitution as it would afford protection to the women involved in the industry, commented on escort and prostitution activity surrounding the races.

"During the Galway Races there is an increase in prostitution activity in Galway city and the gardai would be very very aware of that and they do, I know, put in place measures during Race Week to counteract that as best they can.

"But it's an industry that operates very much below the radar and with the level of high-tech communications available to everyone now between Internet, e-mail and mobile phones it's very difficult to stamp this out.

"It is understood that during Race Week there would be an influx of prostitutes not alone from other parts of Ireland, but from around the world as well." However, with prostitutes and escort agencies in Galway heading for their busiest time of the year, there are fears that there could be a rash of infections.

It was reported earlier in the week that an escort agency has warned customers they may have caught a sexually-transmitted infection after one of its workers tested positive for gonorrhoea.

The lady in question could have slept with hundreds of men since she picked up the possibly-deadly disease last month. The agency's website also carried a notice headed: "Warning -- Gonorrhoea Alert In Galway. All clients and escorts please read."

It says all customers who slept with the woman will be sent a text message reading: "What time is the match on?"

The message encourages the clients to get Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) tests -- and lists STI clinics, with contact details and opening hours.

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