Playland was an amusement arcade in London, England. It was an attractive magnet to many homeless youths and runaways who made their way there in search of companionship and employment. One of these youths was Anthony Daly, a young Irish lad who sought to break away from ‘The Troubles’ in Ireland, and begin a new life.
He soon found himself involved in prostitution just to stay alive. There was an organized rent boy (prostitution) racket run from the Playland arcade and a number of arrests were made. The case came to be known as the Playland trial.
Daly explains that the Playland trial was sandwiched between two other much bigger trials held at the same time, the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six bombing trials. It was a time of hostile relations in Britain towards the Irish community because of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) violence in Britain. His abusers had him between a rock and a hard place because of this. He could either do as he was told and have sex with numerous clients his wealthy pimps introduced him to, or as he says, “…be taken to a police cell to have a terrorist confession kicked out of me.”
I embarked on a journey into a very dark realm: a world of drink and drugs, of gangsters and rent boys, of businessmen, politicians, pimps and paedophiles. Because of what happened to me and the fact that I kept a diary at the time, I am in a unique position to tell the real story of Playland.
Anthony Daly, Playland