According to the local rag, Gardai have clamped down on illegal brothels (as opposed to the legal ones, one can only presume).
By a curious coincidence, the reporter, Mike Dwane, was the man who recorded Willie O Dea making injudicious comments about politicians running brothels, a story which exploded into national significance and marked the end of Willie’s meteoric rise without trace. After all sorts of embarrassing retractions and apologies to the High Court for submitting untrue affidavits, Willie went from his position as Minister For Sending Helicopters to the All-Blacks Game, and resumed his customary position as ex-Minister for Telling You He’ll Get The Road Fixed Even Though He Knows Damn Well He Can’t.
History doesn’t record if Dwane was appointed official brothel correspondent as a result of the scandal, but according to the Leader, Willie recently “lashed” Facebook for its treatment of poor JP McManus, the world’s most oppressed billionaire.
Here’s Mike Dwane anyway, reporting on raids by our intrepid guardians of public morals who questioned two Polish, two Czech and two Romanian women. I don’t know what sort of questions they asked, but I hope they kept it clean.
According to Gardai, the women were not suspected of street-walking, but of advertising their favours on the internet. The interesting line for me occurs at the end of the report : There was no early indication that the women had been trafficked or coerced into prostitution.
I don’t find this surprising. A solicitor friend was telling me recently about a foreign student he represented. The lady had decided to earn a few extra euros over the summer by a little free-market enterprise. All sides agreed there was no pimp involved, no coercion and no trafficking. The lady was simply trying to make some money and was genuinely puzzled to discover that in Ireland, one can’t legally provide sexual favours for material gain.
Now, to my mind, this rules out all sorts of carry-on, like marrying rich old guys. Or coming across after a slap-up feed in a classy nosh-joint. Or in return for a fancy bracelet. Or to get a promotion. Or to win a part in a movie.
To put it another way, in the absence of coercion, where’s the line between being a prostitute and merely a gold-digger?
And will the Gardai be raiding every wedding between a healthy young lady and a doddery old millionaire?
I think we should be told.
Previously on Bock : Should prostitution be legalised?