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Monday 5 December 2016

Ian O'Doherty: Making prostitution legal simply means allowing adults to spend their time and money as they see fit

Published 09/08/2016 | 02:30

In the Netherlands, where prostitution is legal and regulated, there are about three-hundred cabins rented by prostitutes in Amsterdam's red-light district Photo: Sergey Borisov
In the Netherlands, where prostitution is legal and regulated, there are about three-hundred cabins rented by prostitutes in Amsterdam's red-light district Photo: Sergey Borisov

You can tell a lot about a society not only by what its politicians say, but how everyone else reacts to what was said. If the response to Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan's comments about prostitution was anything to go by, then we're stuck closer to the 1950s than we'd like to think.

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When Halligan did the now obligatory 'Hot Press' interview he knew what he was doing. That magazine has a history of tripping the unwary politician, but these days it's a popular forum for TDs and Senators who want to get some brownie points with younger voters.

He made the perfectly reasonable point that: "Why would we want to fine somebody or make it a criminal offence for two consenting adults to have sex? Isn't it a natural instinctive reaction to enjoy sex, to enjoy pleasure?"

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