Myth: We Will Never Find a Hero to Stand Up For Us

Nonsense, we have one already.

Irish Senate 5 November 2014

 

Senator David Norris: 

I hope that in the forthcoming months, in the run-up to the next general election, there will be a commitment by all parties to a real and exhaustive examination of possibilities for reforming the Senate including allowing intervention with regard to financial matters and referenda.

I would like also to take up this business of Ruhama and Turn Off the Red Light. It is time this kind of nonsense was really honestly addressed. The situation in the North of Ireland is that legislation has recently been passed up there. An examination was carried out by Queen’s University Belfast on this issue. It showed that despite the puppeteering going on by this middle class collection of ex-nuns and radical feminists, 98% of the women for whom voices are being articulated by this self-appointed group are opposed completely to it. They constitute 90% of the women working in this area. The Nordic experience is that prostitution is creeping back onto the street. The police are against it by and large. Everybody realises that it is going to be inoperable and ineffective and will lead to serious risks to the lives and welfare of the women and men involved in the sex business. Yes, prostitution is messy. It is regrettable, but it is a fact of life —–

Senator Aideen Hayden: 

On a point of information.

An Cathaoirleach: 

Senator Hayden, there is no such thing.

Senator Aideen Hayden: 

I have to totally object to what Senator Norris is saying.

An Cathaoirleach: 

Senator, please resume your seat.

Senator Aideen Hayden: 

He is suggesting that women choose prostitution like they would choose to be an accountant.

Senator David Norris:

Could the Senator interrupt a little more clearly? I could not hear what she said.

Senator Aideen Hayden: 

That is disrespectful.

Senator David Norris: 

I could not hear what you said.

An Cathaoirleach:

Senator, through the Chair.

Senator Aideen Hayden:

You are suggesting that women choose prostitution like they choose to be doctors or accountants —–

An Cathaoirleach: 

Senator, resume your seat please.

Senator David Norris: 

Read yesterday’s edition of The Irish Times.

An Cathaoirleach:

Senator Norris, please.

Senator Aideen Hayden: 

It is an outrageous —–

An Cathaoirleach:

Senator Norris, please.

Senator David Norris:

Thank you, a Chathaoirligh. I am suggesting that a group of middle-class people are pushing an agenda without actually realising what the situation on the ground is. Prostitution has been here forever. It may very well be regrettable but the Senator needs to face the facts and this needs to be operated in a way that looks after the welfare, the health and the safety and security —–

Senator Aideen Hayden: 

Is Senator Norris suggesting—–

An Cathaoirleach: 

Senator Hayden, please.

Senator David Norris: 

—–of the women and the men involved in this and not in this academic approach—–

Senator Aideen Hayden: 

I am sorry but I cannot let that go.

Senator David Norris: 

You have to. Let us have a debate and we can all have our views on it.

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