It has emerged that Ireland’s biggest escort agency is using the DCU brand as a marketing strategy.
Students around the country who are struggling financially are turning to escort agencies to pay their way through college.
Escort Ireland has pages that are dedicated to independent student escorts from Irish universities, including University College Cork (UCC) and Queens University Belfast.
But the website also states that “Dublin 9 is also home to one of Ireland’s biggest universities, DCU (Dublin City University), and, for this reason, student escorts are sometimes based here.”
Gerardine Rowley, Communications and Policy Manager with Ruhama Ireland, told The College View that “the website is using DCU as a location but it’s not saying the students are actually DCU students. They’re using the branding of DCU…it’s all part of the fantasy they try and sell.”
Rowley says that from looking at some of the profiles from the ‘DCU location’, they do not seem to be DCU students. “That’s not to say that students aren’t using the website,” she says.
“We’re concerned about the idea that they’re using DCU students as a marketing strategy,” says Rowley. “Any vulnerable young girls could come in and think they could make a lot of money and come out unharmed…but a lot of these are organised by criminals.”
Welfare Officer, Neil Collins, says that while he had heard some talk about this in the UK, he does not think it’s an issue in Irish universities.
“Until the time that this issue is proven to be existent in Ireland, which it is not, we will not be dealing with it.”
Collins says that “if students are struggling financially, they usually come to us and talk about it. We then work with the support services in DCU to help that person”.
Class Rep for the first year Bachelor of Civil Law (Law and Society) class, Sam Elliott, says he plans to bring the issue to Class Rep Council tonight in light of an article in the Sunday Independent about prostitution in DCU.
In the UK, The London Independent recently revealed how young women were lured to meetings with a man through SponsorAScholar.co.uk. The website claimed to offer students up to £15,000 a year for meetings with wealthy businessmen in search of “discreet adventures”.
Since it was exposed in The London Independent, the website has been taken down.