21 men have been convicted at Limerick District Court for soliciting prostitution services in the city.

The men were arrested as part of Operation Freewheel, an operation initiated by gardaí in Limerick, which aims to identify and convict those who seek and pay for services in the sex industry, as well as those who run brothels.

All 21 entered a guilty plea to a breach of Section 7 of the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act 1993.

The court heard that on dates between 11 November and 3 December, at a number of locations in Limerick, including Mallow Street, Barrington Street, Catherine Street and Pery Square, the men approached two plain clothes detectives and offered to pay for a sexual act.

Judge Eamon O'Brien ordered all 21 to pay €470 to Doras Luimni, a support organisation for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, as well as those who are victims of human trafficking or the sex industry.

He remanded the 21 on bail to 13 March, when they are to appear in court with a receipt to prove they handed the money over to the organisation.

The 21 remanded were:

Denis Enright, aged 52, Dromin, Listowel, Co Kerry,
John Galvin, aged 63, Carrigeen, Croom, Co Limerick,
Noel Mason, aged 51, Monaskeha, Clonlara, Co Clare
Valentin Munteanu aged 28, Kilmore, Grange, Co Limerick
Wayne Murphy aged 25, Singland House, Ballysimon Limerick
Niall O Brien aged 27, Ballingoola, Grange, Co Limerick
Krzysztof Poczynski aged 27, 14 Crestwood, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Gary Stack, aged 67, Drumineen, Ennis Co Clare
Adam Pustkowski, aged 36, 61 Vartery Avenue, Raheen, Limerick
Derek Power, aged 49,27 Gleanntan, Castletroy, Limerick.
Patrick Quilty, aged 38, Castletown, Pallaskenry, Co Limerick
Gearoid Phelan, aged 23, 17 Castletroy View, Childers Road, Limerick
Conor Carey, aged 33, Corelish, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick
Eamon Coffey, aged 41, Mortalstown, Ardpatrick, Kilmallock, Co Limerick
Michael Dorman, aged 51, Barrigone, Askeaton, Co Limerick
Serghei Boldescu, aged 31, 12 The Grove, Huntsfield, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Seamus Keane, aged 59, Coolreiry, Castleconnell, Co Limerick
James Lynch, aged 48, Mayne, Kilmeady, Limerick
Dimitri Yakoulev, aged 40, Apt 515, Parkview Court, Lord Edward Street, Limerick
Makki Mutay, aged 45, Apt 2 Foxes Bow, 42 Rear of William Street, Limerick
Michael Ryan, aged 63, Knocka Lr. Drom, Templemore, Co Tipperary.

A total of 27 cases came before the court today and six were adjourned.