For years, I've been asking one simple question of Ruhama, the ever-growing state-funded religious quango dedicated to rooting out human sexual trafficking and to supporting those smuggled into Ireland and forced to work as prostitutes.
Where are the trafficked women you claim to help?
Frankly speaking, they don't appear to exist. Despite Ruhama's latest wheeze - a TV advert which depicts Irishmen as laughing casual rapists enjoying a pint after sexually assaulting a beauteous Slavic blonde - the evidence still doesn't stack up.
We'll wait and see what arises from the arrest of an Irishman and his partner in Wales last weekend. It is alleged that he may have been involved in a string of brothels across Ireland, some of which may have had trafficked women working on their premises.
But in the unlikely event that it does emerge that women were trafficked in this case, it would be virtually the first in Ireland. I quote below a parliamentary question from Denis Naughten to the Minister for Justice this week, in which it swiftly emerges that almost no one has been prosecuted for the offence of trafficking people into Ireland for sexual exploitation.
Six people. That's how many people have been done for human trafficking in Ireland in this century. Six people.
So, now that Ruhama have gone all multimedia, at least we know what they spend their significant state funding on. What we don't know is why they are funded to the extent they are, and why they are given money from the exchequer to slander Ireland as a rape nation and Irishmen as casual rapists.
Ruhama says it exists to support the victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. How many have they helped?
The reality of this sad, dark world is different to that which the sisterhood and their state-funded hysteria campaign Ruhama would have you believe.
Repeated studies, as well as police evidence from Ireland, UK, America and European countries, indicates that nearly all non-national women who travel to affluent countries like this one to work in prostitution (or indeed as lapdancers, strippers or erotic dancers) do so because they choose to.
Now, some feminists, especially those who make common cause with orders of Catholic nuns, don't like the idea that other women would volunteer to work in the sex trade, and might even travel abroad to do so. And indeed, no little girl ever grew up saying she wanted to be a hooker when she was older.
But the money is good, countries like Ireland are much safer than Eastern Europe or Africa, and the quality of living is higher. The sad reality is that many women do choose this profession, they travel to Ireland and elsewhere to work at it for a period of time, then they leave to go home or to ply their trade in another country.
Ireland is not a nation of laughing rapists, no matter what the sisterhood might say. How about they start justifying the expense they cost the taxpayer by telling us how many people they help annually and how they were helped.
Because if their only role is to create hysteria about a wrong that does not exist so that they can malign Irishmen as casual habitual rapists, then Ruhama has to be top of the list of quangos we need to cull.
Parliamentary Question for Written Answer:
284. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of prosecutions and convictions for human trafficking and sexual exploitation in 2007 and to date in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45075/08]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): It is assumed the Deputy’s question refers to prosecutions and convictions for human trafficking in the broadest sense, i.e. for both labour and sexual exploitation.
Section 4 of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008, which came into operation on 7 June, 2008, creates a new offence of trafficking of children for labour exploitation and trafficking of adults for sexual and labour exploitation. No prosecutions have been commenced or convictions recorded for this offence to date.
Section 3 of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 (as amended by Section 3 of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008) created the offence of trafficking of children for the purpose of sexual exploitation. To date one person has been charged by the Garda Síochána on four counts of attempting to incite another to commit an offence contrary to Section 3 of this Act. The accused was charged in January 2007 and has already pleaded guilty to one count. The case is listed for sentence hearing at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on 24th February, 2009.
Prior to the enactment of Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008, An Garda Síochána utilised the provisions of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000, which remains in force. Since September 2000 over one hundred people have been arrested and detained in respect of alleged breaches of Section 2 of this Act. Five persons have been convicted in respect of twenty-five individual breaches of Section 2 Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000, which relates to the facilitation/organisation of the illegal entry of persons into this State for gain.