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Ralph Riegel Twitter Email. HUNDREDS of brothel customers are living in fear after it emerged secret cameras were hidden in power sockets and smoke alarms at two busy Irish sex shops. The brothels -- at Grafton Street and John Street in Cork city centre -- had been fitted with covert cameras, which had a direct internet video link to the home of convicted brothel keeper, Anthony 'Tony' Linnane. The covert cameras were installed in such a manner that it was virtually impossible for unsuspecting brothel patrons not to be caught on camera.
Linnane, 54, of Scartbarry, Watergrasshill, Co Cork, was jailed for 15 months last week after pleading guilty to brothel keeping before Cork Circuit Criminal Court. The Sunday Independent has since learned that while gardai intend to destroy all material confiscated as part of their brothel raids, they have been contacted by several ex-customers anxious as to whether other recordings may be in existence. Men who used prostitute services at the two brothels are now terrified as to the consequences of any such recordings falling into the wrong hands.
Linnane -- a father of five and former Limerick chimneysweep -- was targeted by gardai and Cab as part of 'Operation Boulder', a major crackdown on the illegal sex trade. The vast earnings allowed Linnane and his partner, Caroline O'Leary 39 , to enjoy a lavish jet-setting lifestyle. O'Leary -- who was convicted of brothel keeping after a week-long trial -- was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence.
The mother of two of Linnane's children had spent a month on remand at Limerick Prison. Judge Sean O Donnabhain said that in light of the young age of the couple's children, it would be "unnecessarily harsh" to send both parents to prison. Julienne Gibson, 41, of Springvale, Old Youghal Road, Cork, worked for Linnane in helping run the brothels on a day-to-day basis and received an month suspended prison sentence.
Gibson lives in a council flat and is a mother of seven, the youngest of whom is just seven months. However, unlike Linnane and O'Leary, Gibson enjoyed none of the vast profits generated by the brothels. Linnane and O'Leary's social activities were described as "a Celtic Tiger lifestyle" -- and ranged from luxury overseas holidays to a fleet of plush cars, including a Mercedes convertible and a customised jeep.