Norris rejects call to criminalise purchase of sex

Independent Senator also criticises Taoiseach over Seanad abolition proposal

Senator David Norris addressing the Seanad yesterday.  “I have never used the services of prostitutes but I have been in a number of brothels for different reasons and have put that on the record,” he said.

Senator David Norris addressing the Seanad yesterday. “I have never used the services of prostitutes but I have been in a number of brothels for different reasons and have put that on the record,” he said.

Fri, Jun 28, 2013, 01:00


Senator David Norris (Independent) described as “horribly sanctimonious’’ the Oireachtas justice committee’s proposal that paying for sex be made a criminal offence.


‘Fair hearing’
“I do not believe a fair hearing was given to all the variety of sex workers,’’ he said. “The deliberate blurring of the boundaries between trafficking and sex workers is wrong.’’

Mr Norris left hospital, where he is being treated for cancer, to attend yesterday’s Seanad sitting.

He said he would not like any of his own family to be involved in prostitution. “I have never used the services of prostitutes but I have been in a number of brothels for different reasons and have put that on the record,’’ he added.

Mr Norris said that in hospital he heard a radio programme about a brave severely disabled young man who had travelled with some disabled companions to Spain where he visited a brothel. It was perfectly run and was almost like a nursing facility. “Had he not done so he would have died without ever experiencing the beauty of sexual release and pleasure,’’ he added. “I would not want to deny him that.’’

Mr Norris also contributed to the resumed debate on the Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill, which Taoiseach Enda Kenny introduced in the House on Wednesday. Mr Norris said there was “not one tissue of truth’’ in Mr Kenny’s “rotten little speech’’.


‘Grimy little squirt’
He recalled Dr Noel Browne had signed his Seanad nomination papers until his death. “He would be livid at the idea that some grimy little squirt from the other side had been sent out to abuse his name.’’

Mr Norris recalled voting against benchmarking and putting the names of bondholders on the Seanad’s record. “No one in the Dáil had the balls to do the same, including the then Deputy Kenny.’’