"We are 21 years in Ireland and we have never heard a judge make those sorts of comments before."
The words of Ruhama's Geraldine Rowley following calls by Judge John Neilan for clients who access Longford's sex trade to be named and shamed.
It came after last week's appearance in court of 22-year-old Romanian national *name removed* who came before Longford District Court charged with organising prostitution in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford.
*removed* was ordered by the judge to leave the country and return to Romania along with two other men charged in connection with road traffic offences.
As was reported in last week's Leader, Ms *removed* was arrested and charged two weeks ago after gardai carried out a surveillance led operation in Edgeworthstown for the past month.
In court it was revealed around 20 to 30 male clients had accessed the service after Ms *removed* launched an internet based advertising campaign promising "sexual massages" and other services to would be suitors.
It was this that led Judge Neilan to remark: "The quicker legislation is brought in to enable the publishing of the names and addresses of the people who avail of such services, then the better."
Less than a week on, Ruhama, the organisation charged with providing support services for women affected by sex trafficking, has come out in support of the often outspoken judge.
"We welcome the focus put on responsibility of people fuelling criminality. What we especially welcome is that the judge brought the demand or men in this case who purchased the women into the whole equation. These people have always up until now remained nameless and faceless," Ms Rowley said.
The organisation says that clients have little or no knowledge of how these women get here, how they are controlled, how they are paid and the risks they confont.
In his summing up of the case last week, Judge Neilan put forward a similar view. "You are funded to come to this country and engage in the business that the lady engaged in and you are all being used by people," he told a packed Longford court. "Three thousand euros worth of business was paid in respect of sexual activity at the residence in Edgeworthstown," he said.
Recent studies carried out by Ruhama found 90 per cent of in-house prostitutes are non nationals, coming mainly from eastern Europe. To avoid detection, many are moved from town to town and county to county, a practice which has taken on a raft of new and sinister dimensions according to Ms Rowley.
"When we set up in 1989, prostitution was confined to the major cities only. What we are finding now, and our figures over the last five years show this, is that we are meeting more and more victims of sex trafficking from rural Ireland and that includes Longford," she added.