Now this is what I call brilliant.
To highlight the blatant prostitution trade on Limerick’s Catherine Street, some genius came up with the idea to cover the parking signs with fakes like this one.
Reaction to the event has been mixed, with the newspapers resorting to their usual flaccid, off-the-shelf clichés, while local residents and business people think it’s hilarious. They’ve been trying for years to stop the harassment of passers-by from groups of prostitutes hanging around the street corners.
Personally, I find the pimps more intimidating. I don’t know where they’re from but they seem to have a Balkan look about them. Bulgarian, Albanian perhaps. Or Romanian. I don’t know.
The Limerick Leader provides us with the quote of the year from the Limerick city traffic engineer responsible for signage: Is there some kind of activity going up there that someone is trying to bring to the attention of?
Eh, right. Meanwhile, the Irish Examiner introduced a new character into the canon of tired old clichés alongside One Man, A Local Woman and Outraged Residents.
According to this magnificent organ in an article entitled Red Light District Sign Angers Locals, Furious Businesswoman tore down one of the signs, in a public act of ostrich-like denial. Given that the lady is question isn’t identified and given that most of the local business people think this is a splendid kick up the arse for the authorities, one can only conclude that this must be that overbearing lady most of them try to avoid at all costs. In this case, at least the Leader is accurate in its description of the fake-poster-damager.
Down with that sort of thing and never mind the fact that every night, trafficked teenaged girls are accosting people trying to walk the streets in peace, while others are hanging out windows shouting at every man who passes.
And in case you think I’m saying prostitution needs to be stamped out, I’m not. In my opinion, prohibition has never worked and will never work. I think the only pragmatic answer is a regulated approach similar to the Australian and New Zealand system.
Make it legal, regulate it, bust the pimps and traffickers and let the people inhabit their city in peace.
Here’s what I said about it in the past. You can agree or you can disagree, but that’s my honest view on the matter.
Meanwhile, the police and the city council are investigating somebody who highlights the problem, while certain businesswomen would prefer to maintain a state of denial, possibly because it doesn’t affect their own business hours.
Limerick City Council in a statement said: “Limerick City Council has investigated the matter and can confirm that the council’s Environment Department had no knowledge of or involvement in the erection or removal of the sign in question.”