THE number of Irish students turning to ‘sugar daddy dating’ has doubled within the last four years, with University College Dublin topping the list.
Sugar daddy dating is a relatively new online phenomenon whereby wealthy older men can search for younger women who are interested in going on dates with them and accompanying them throughout their social life.
Often, these older men are married and hide their ‘sugar daddy’ relationship from their wife and family.
The students are opting for the service as a means to earn money to cover university costs and pay expenses rather than work a regular part-time job.
The website which connects the ‘sugar babies’ with their ‘sugar daddies’, SeekingArrangement.com, has said that roughly 10,000 students are now on their books in Ireland, compared to over 4,000 in 2013.
UCD tops the list with 601 students signed up to the site, followed closely by Trinity College with 585 and Dublin Institute of Technology with 581.
Elsewhere, University College Cork has 571 students actively using the site and the University of Limerick has 512.
The contentious dating service, which has been frequently panned as a seedy playground for aging adulterers, was brought into the spotlight in recent weeks by TV personality Vogue Williams.
In an RTE documentary, the 32-year-old was visibly disturbed when she spoke to a 19-year-old virgin in Dublin who had entered into a sugar daddy arrangement.
The Dubliner also revealed she was offered €20,000 to go on a date after creating a profile on the site.
A spokeswoman for the site, on the other hand, said: “We are not surprised by the increase in student sugar babies. Sugar dating is a way for students to get what they need for school without dedicating precious study hours to low-paying part-time jobs.”