While living in Southend, he started frequenting the Coleherne in Earls Court. It was known as a place where men cruised for sexual partners and wore colour coded handkerchiefs that indicated their preferred role. Ireland sought men who liked the passive role and sadomasochism, so he could readily restrain them as they initially believed it was a sexual game.
Ireland had been married and claimed that he was heterosexual and that he pretended to be gay only to befriend potential victims. It is unknown whether Ireland's murders were sexually motivated. Ireland was highly organised. He carried a full murder kit of rope and handcuffs and a full change of clothes to each murder. After killing the victim he cleaned the flat of any forensic evidence linking him to the scene and stayed in the flat until morning in order to avoid arousing suspicion from leaving in the middle of the night.
Ireland was detected when a security video captured him with his last victim, Emanuel Spiteri, on the platform at Charing Cross station. Ireland recognised himself and decided to tell police he was the man with Spiteri but not the killer — he claimed to have left Spiteri in the flat with another man. However, police had also found Ireland's fingerprints in the flat of another of his victims.
He was jailed for life for the murders in December 1993 and remained imprisoned until his death in February 2012, at the age of 57.
Based on a Wikipedia article.