However, their recent actions in Limerick whereby they brought over 20 men before the courts for soliciting prostitution should be commended. In the past, it was normal that only the female prostitutes were prosecuted and their so-called clients escaped prosecution and public shaming.
Human rights abuses of all types must be condemned and the gardaí have an important duty to uphold all laws that are designed to prevent human rights abuses. Prostitution is often glibly described as one of the oldest professions, but the reality is that prostitution involves serious abuses of human rights.Like war, prostitution is a profession we could do without. The vast majority of persons engaged in prostitution do so because they are forced into it for a variety of reasons, including physical violence, poverty, social and educational depravation. Prostitution in Ireland involves a significant amount of involuntary trafficking of women and children from eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Claims that the gardaí are using “entrapment” in these cases could also be claimed for most road safety speed limit enforcement cases, but such claims are unreasonable.
Successful crime prevention means that gardaí must be proactive in detecting and preventing crime, otherwise criminals and law-breakers would be ruling the country instead of the rule of law.
The gardaí deserve to be supported in their efforts to stamp out prostitution in Limerick, and hopefully their recent success will be replicated elsewhere in Ireland.
Dr Edward Horgan