PUBLICAN and former international rugby hooker Jerry Flannery has suggested that if men improved their social skills, washed regularly and bought some new clothes “then they may not have to pay for sex” from prostitutes in the city.
The ongoing issue of prostitution in Limerick city centre was highlighted in a novel way this week, after traffic signs on Catherine Street were briefly camouflaged to read ‘Red Light District’, before being quickly removed.
Traffic signs on the junctions of Roches, Cecil and Glentworth streets were overlaid with a sticker, cleverly designed to mimic the underlying signs, reading ‘Red Light District, in effect from Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 4am.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Mr Flannery – whose pub is situated in the heart of the street mischievously dubbed a ‘red light district’, said his stance on the subject is two-fold.
“I’m against people interfering with regulatory signs and I’m also against prostitution. Neither of these help our great city. I appreciate that some people get frustrated by prostitution but tampering with regulatory signs is a criminal offence and I can’t condone that in any way.
“I also appreciate that there are some very horny men out there but if they just worked on their social skills, maybe washed more regularly and bought some new clothes then they may not have to pay for sex.
“Who knows if these lads went out for a few pints, maybe even to Jerry Flannery’s pub, and were polite and respectful they may even meet a nice lady and develop a meaningful and loving relationship,” he said.
Doras Luimni, which is part of 68 organisations involved in the national Turn off the Red Light campaign to end prostitution and seek changes in the law governing this illicit activity, said they are calling on all local TDs to ensure there is no further delay in seeking the introduction of legislation, targeting sex buyers, as a matter of urgency.
Some 800 written submissions and oral hearings were received by the Oireachtas Justice Committee earlier this year on this issue. Nineteen children were discovered in the Irish sex trade last year, they added.
Efforts by the gardai to tackle prostitution in the city under Operation Freewheel are continuing.