Long live the great Senator David Norris for yet again injecting colour, humour and above all, humanity into what can be an incredibly dull Seanad.
During a recent Seanad motion on human trafficking and prostitution, Senator Norris was his usual colourful, vociferous self as he regaled fellow Senators about his close encounter with a brothel.
“For a number of years, there was a brothel in the basement next to me in North Great George’s Street,” he told an eager Seanad.
“On one occasion when the woman was being beaten up, I was obliged to intervene and I protected her. I did not avail of her services but it was quite a moving experience because I encountered her as a human being and realised what was going on in that place.”
“On a Saturday evening, I often swept my step and I saw many people coming from there, some of whom were quite familiar names in Irish public life.”
“While they got a hell of a shock on seeing me, I never have disclosed a single name and never would.”
“These were professional people, some of whom were in religious professions,” he said, whetting the curiosity of many.
And he was similarly vociferous about proposals to follow the lead of Sweden, Norway and Iceland by criminalising the purchase of sex so as to target the demand for the sex exploitation industry.
“Members who have a slightly more sophisticated view of history will remember that among other things, Sweden supplied Hitler with ball bearings during the Second World War and has a serious problem with right-wing hooliganism.”
“Simply because something happens in Sweden does not mean one should automatically gollop it down uncritically,” he said.