Yesterday I recorded a video of myself talking about Padraig MacLochlainn’s recent public rudeness towards sex workers – the very people he’s claiming to protect. The Irish Justice Committee are currently holding a sex work hearing where they recieve submmissions from people to decide whether to subject the Irish to the dangerous Swedish Model (criminalising sex purchase). Rhoda Grant MSP has put forward a Bill to do the same thing in Scotland.
But if Justice Committee member Padraig MacLochlainn already looks down on sex workers, and blocks them on Twitter before they tweet at him, how can the hearing be impartial?
Even more worryingly, MacLochlainn stated on Twitter that he would advise his party Sinn Fein to “endorse Turn off the Red Light” (an organisation which supports the Swedish Model) because of “the last 24 hours”. It appears to be a childish ‘up yours’ sort of reaction to people disaggreeing with him.
I also mention the fact that a convicted pimp with 5 aliases was allowed to give evidence at the hearing as a witness (she was put forward as one of Ruhama Agency’s prostitution survivors to argue for the Swedish Model). But sex workers weren’t even allowed inside the building.
Ruhama Agency is an abolitionist organisation who are run by two of the four orders who ran the Magdalen Laundries, and in 2012 they recieved 14.4 million in funding from the State, on top of unknown sums from 2 other state departments. In their busiest year they helped 241 women.