LIMERICK City Council has endorsed a major campaign to bring in legislation to criminalise the purchase of sex in Ireland.
At this week’s City Council meeting, the four Labour party members put forward a motion that City Council “requests the Minister for Justice to initiate legislation criminalising the purchase of sex in Ireland as part of a strategy to develop effective and appropriate responses to deal with the ever increasing trafficking in Ireland for exploitation and prostitution.”
Councillors unanimously backed the motion.
Cllr Tom Shortt said the problem with prostitution remains rampant in the city.
“Essentially, there is a growing industry, it is extremely criminal, and the laws do not seem to be tight enough to limit it and counter-act it. It is rampant in Limerick. We have it on various streets in the city. Shopkeepers are complaining that their streets are becoming downgraded by the presence of prostitutes on the street,” he said.
The northside councillor also said he hears of women being approached, just because they are in an area, to see whether they are involved in prostitution.
Groups involved in the Turn off the Red Light campaign are as diverse as the Irish Countrywomen’s Association and Doras Luimni.
Meanwhile, at this week’s county council meeting, where the same issue was being discussed, Kilfinane councillor David Moloney revealed a 16-year-old girl had around nine men ring her for sex after her phone number was uploaded onto an escorts website.
“It is terrifying something like this could happen,” he said.