Thomas Pringle TD


Thomas Pringle TD has today introduced a Bill (The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2013) to criminalise the purchase of sexual services in line with Swedish legislation in order to cut the demand for sexual services and to decriminalise the sellers of these services.

“The Bill I have introduced today sets out a number of offenses for the purchase of sexual services that are initially intended to act as a deterrent and lead to serious consequences for repeat offenders. It makes provision for the introduction of the criminalisation of the purchasers of sexual services and it will reduce the demand for sexual services thereby reducing the incidence of prostitution in society, and will therefore create a situation that will remove the attractiveness of prostitution and trafficking from organised criminal elements by creating the risk for purchasers of sexual services to be prosecuted with the element of “name and shame” acting as a deterrent.

“Ireland’s current approach to the regulation of prostitution is the partial criminalisation of prostitution, whereby the sale or purchase of sexual services in Ireland is currently not criminalised, provided it is conducted out of public eye and with some activities associated with prostitution such as pimping being a crime. I strongly believe that prostitution is incompatible with contemporary values and that it is a serious social problem, which can and should be abolished. In reality, very few women choose to willingly engage in prostitution, with most who are involved having very few real choices. This issue must be addressed – we must decriminalise the victims in this trade and give them the option of rehabilitation.

“One in four sex buyers in Ireland (24%) have come across women and girls who appeared trafficked, controlled or underage according to a major survey on prostitution published recently by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, with the findings showing that fear of a criminal record, jail time or name in a local newspaper have been selected as effective deterrents by the sex buyers and are only surpassed by fear of contracting disease. I believe that this Bill addresses these issues and that it will contribute to a more equal society, where the purchase of one human being for the gratification of another will be seen as unacceptable.

“I have worked closely with the Immigrant Council of Ireland and the Turn off the Red Light campaign on this matter, and I look forward to a constructive debate on this issue in the Dáil. Sweden passed a similar law in 1999, I believe now is Ireland’s time to follow in their footsteps,” stated Pringle.

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    One Comment

    1. IrishPerson

      21st March 2013 at 8:57 am

      Sweden has the highest incident of rape in the EU according to the United Nations. So the Swedish model doesn’t work. Source: