Prostitution and the law


Sir, – Regarding prostitution laws, Fionola Meredith (“Why new law banning the purchase of sex is patronising and problematic”, Opinion & Analysis, October 29th) writes that “the real concern of abolitionist campaigners” is to “seek the satisfaction of a symbolic victory: the ability to declare our shores closed to prostitution, in exactly the same way that anti-abortion activists like to proclaim Ireland free of abortion”. She omits homosexuality. Back in the mid-1980s when homosexual acts were still criminal offences in this State, European courts heard cases about the validity of this law. The State argued that although the law was indeed on the statute books, it was never actually enforced. The point of the law was that the State aspired to be free of homosexual acts. I remember this because Dick Walsh discussed it in the very same place in this newspaper as Ms Meredith’s article 30 years later. So they’re bringing back “aspirational laws”. – Yours, etc,