Sunday, 11 February 2018

DEATH OF SEX WORKERS ADVOCATE



Tributes have been paid to Dublin woman Laura Lee, a prominent campaigner for the rights of sex workers, following her sudden death.

Ms Lee, who was about to embark on a legal challenge against a law in Northern Ireland which makes it illegal to pay for sex, died on Wednesday, her daughter Cat announced.

She wrote: “My mum unfortunately passed away on Wednesday 7th February 2018. She asked me to let you all know that she was so grateful for everyone’s support.

“I ask you to continue all of your amazing campaign work in her honour. I’m so proud of all my mum accomplished in her tragically short life. My family have asked for complete privacy at this difficult time. Much love & power to you all.”

Ms Lee had been granted the right to challenge the recently introduced law in the North which makes it illegal to pay for sex. The case is due before Belfast High Court later this month.

Ms Lee, a law graduate, had said she was prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the law, which she and fellow sex workers claimed discriminated against their rights to privacy, to earn a living and physical protection.

In a 2015 interview before the law was passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly, Ms Lee said: “I am doing this because I believe that when two consenting adults have sex behind closed doors and if money changes hands then that is none of the state’s business. The law they have introduced has nothing to do with people being trafficked but simply on their, the DUP’s, moral abhorrence of paid sex.”

Ms Lee lived in Edinburgh but also travelled to Belfast and Dublin to work. She had also pledged to challenge a similar law introduced in the Republic last year with the passing of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2017.

Ms Lee’s solicitor Ciaran Moynagh told the Belfast Telegraph he would continue her work.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of our client Laura Lee. Laura courageously fronted a campaign and judicial review which sought to defend and protect thousands of sex workers who do not have a voice,” Mr Moynagh said.

“In the face of much opposition she maintained great dignity. Laura Lee will be remembered as one of this country’s most fearless human rights advocates and we are committed to continuing her work.”

In a statement, the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) said its members were “heartbroken and devastated at the loss of our dear friend, colleague and SWAI board member Laura Lee”.

“Our hearts are with Laura’s family, friends and all who knew and loved her. Laura’s bravery was unending,” the organisation said.

“She believed passionately in justice and was fighting for every single sex worker in this world. Her dedication and commitment to our struggle has made a huge and lasting impact, and she will never be forgotten.”

PAT SAYS:

Laura Lee was perfectly right to state that what two consenting adults freely do in private should not be the business of the state - unless what they do is criminal.

Obviously she was not referring to people who are trafficked for sex, underage people or people who are being forced to do things by gangs or ruthless pimps.

Nor was she referring to people who are forced into prostitution by economic necessity or to feed addictions.

So any ordinary man or woman should be free to behave, in private, in a way they wish and with another freely consenting person. The issue of money is irrelevant.

Some people believe that sex workers are immoral. However, with the exception of what is criminal, it is not the state's job to preach a particular morality.

Morality differs from place to place and from time to time. Not so long ago many Christians saw nothing morally wrong with slavery.

In today's USA many Christians believe in the death penalty.

In some countries, even today, homosexuality is punishable by death!

The state should be secular and plural and free from all religious bias.

If a man or woman freely wishes to be a sex professional they should not be hounded by the state or police as long as they pay their taxes, look after their own and their client's health and do not breach reasonable and rational criminal laws.

94 comments:

  1. Bishop Pat, you are absolutely, morally correct here. (But, sadly, you did not point up the potential moral consequences of such actions. Shame on you!)

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    Replies
    1. MC, what consequences do you mean?

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    2. Sex workers help destroy souls. No believer in Jesus should legislate to help them continue in their trade. They are not the first group of people to use a legality to get their way in other areas and so increase the harm they do. It is unfortunate but we need to see the wood from the trees.

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    3. Well said! @18.10 and at Magna Blue

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  2. so dear Pat. Morality is a fiction? It's all about whatever you're havin yourself?
    You poor deluded fool!

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  3. One sentence in your blog, to my mind, goes to the heart of the issue here and many others: "morality differs from place to place and from time to time." I believe this a true and profound statement. I do not believe morality to be an objective immutable unchanging prescriptive entity.
    MMM

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    Replies
    1. If that is true MMM, then people are burning in Hell for having knowingly eaten a little meat on a Friday.

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  4. A barrister---even one of our newbie juniors---could slice your arguments in ribbons in minutes, Pat!
    You seem to shoot from the hip of popular opinion. It's well after 1.00am here and too late to write a lecture I wouldn't be surprised though if during the day other posters spot the anomalies and flaws .For starters folks...If we don't want the State to have any say in deciding what "is immoral" then why should we allow it to decide that for example, murder or grievous bodily harm etc are immoral and wrong and should be punished? You arbitrarily would perhaps answer "But they are criminal offences". Quite so, but who actually decided that in the first place? What would you think/do if a majority of people in your neighbourhood decided that it was not wrong at all in certain circumstances eg if the person was homeless or an immigrant?!! Who would you expect to see creating a better society ? (Are you sure you actually approve of them "interfering"?).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the end the people decide and we must live with the wishes of the majority I suppose?

      But what would we do if the majority decided that missing Mass on a Sunday would lead to a three month custodial sentence?

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    2. @1.31

      In your blindness you have forgotten that there is a distinction between what is 'legally wrong' and what is 'morally wrong'. These are two very different concepts.

      If I were a gambling man I would hazzard a bet that you are a canon lawyer.

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    3. 01:31
      Your post suffers from muddled and confused thinking which it wouldn’t take a BL to identify. Your fundamental error is the failure to distinguish between law and morality.
      It’s the function of the state to provide law and not morality.

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    4. @10.43.
      No, no .. I can emphatically reassure you that I am definitely not a canon lawyer... Certainly not.. My skills and experience and training are from another source.. My place of profession is not the priesthood.... .

      Delete
    5. No, no @ 10.46
      You are wrong in your assessment of poster1. 31
      You, yourself, are the one with "fundamental error"! There is always an "emeshment" - we usually call it - - between law and morality in a civilised society The Law of the Land grew, and indeed still grows, out of the Natural Law of morality. (Our Ist year textbooks had reams of examples and the reasons and historical effects on society here and worldwide)
      The poster was razor sharp correct, I assure you but he'll maybe get back here if he reads the blog again....
      You were right to reply though, why not!

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    6. @ 1.31
      Spot on.. You highlight the problem clearly..

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    7. @12.49

      You must have gone to the only Law school teaching jurisprudence in 1st year.

      But you are right in your connection between natural law and legal law. But again, in developed societies, there is a distinction between religious based morality and law. To consider them inextricably interwoven is a past way of thinking belonging to an old Ireland, and other such religiously determined societies. In a world where church and state are seperated we need to allow the legal system develop in a way that recognises the religious lobby as but one voice amongst many equal lobby groups.

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    8. We often have to live in the negative environment that others create, but we are called to live differently and where possible eliminate the immediate dangers through voting in democracies or influence in dictatorships.

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  5. ".. and do not breach reasonable and rational laws.." you say.
    And who exactly will decide what's reasonable and rational, do you think, Pat?
    No, no . it's definitely NOT always self-evident and no, we're NOT all going to be agreed .. So who decides, Pat?
    If we're very worried about the quality of the decision, who/what else should we feel we can rely on to get across our moral concerns to those who have the power to change things and shape out society?
    Time for some rational and logical follow-through level of thought I'm afraid!

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  6. And who exactly would be the members of this 'secular and plural'State, Pat? Do you mean like the old secular Communist States before the Iron Curtain fell?
    No ? - - - or do you think that maybe, as this is a democracy, we should be allowed to vote in the persons WE CHOOSE? And furthermore do you accept that it is entirely our right and responsibility to choose persons who best represent our moral and political viewpoints?
    That is the democracy we fought for and achieved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do accept that.

      But is the majority always right???

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    2. Democracy elected Hitler, Stalin, Mugabe, Tatcher.

      Democracy is the right way but it is not always right

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    3. Pat asks "But is the majority always right?"
      The answer, of course, is no.
      And do remember that. It is crucially important.
      (Remember it especially on the day the results of the Amendment on abortion are called out .)

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    4. Democracy elected Trump.
      Democracy voted for Brexit in a whirl of peer pressure and many are slowly starting to re-think.

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    5. But the rights and wrongs of Brexit are financial models not matters of morality.

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    6. I was merely referring to the immediate unexpected effect (re/Brexit vote) that a peer pressure democratic vote can throw up...

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  7. I get great mileage out of your blogs Pat! In some countries homosexuality is punishable by death, haha! You conveniently don't mention which ones, I guess you don't like offending Muslims. Coward.

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    Replies
    1. I have no time for the Islamic "morality" you mention. And indeed in such countries secret homosexuality is very common.

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    2. False connection here. Islamic countries of course will ban homosexuality, but it is by no means only them. Zimbabwe and Russia for example.

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    3. Russia has a law against "gay propaganda" but gay sex was decriminalized in 1993 two years before Ireland.

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    4. When Islam is the majority faith in Germany, Sweden, Belgium and France in a few decades time homosexuality will be banned in those countries too.

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  8. Reading between the lines she committed suicide. If a press report says someone died suddenly but does not give a cause (e.g. a heart attack) that's usually what it means.

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  9. Did she not live in Glasgow,Pat?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think she did, at least some of the time.

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  10. I cannot help feel that it was a bit of a cheek for an unelected Dubliner, living in Scotland, was seeking to overturn a law passed by the NI Assembly.

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    Replies
    1. What about an unelected Dubliner, living in Scotland seeking to overturn a law in Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia?

      Just asking?

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    2. For once, Magna Blue, you and I are on the same page.... Hope you're well and on the cappuccinos.... Are your American friends, Jason etc gone home to Nebraska yet?

      Delete
    3. That's not Magna Blue, 12:05. It's an imitation of an imitation: if you look the name's spelled wrong!
      While illiteracy is of course a hallmark of the original pretend Magna Carta, he must have checked the spelling in Wikipedia before setting up his profile. This imitator is like many who spell brand names slightly wrongly.
      If nothing else, pretending to be me has become quite an industry!

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    4. Magna Blue is no longer a reliable identifier.
      There is a blue Magna Carta.
      And a blue Magna Cartar.
      And a blew Magn.

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    5. He isn't 'Magna Blue'; I am.

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    6. Magna Blue @ 14.01
      I posted at 12.05
      and I was intending my post to be for you!
      I am glad I don't work for Royal Mail. So confusing...!

      Delete
    7. Magna Blue @ 14.01
      I posted at 12.05
      and I was intending my post to be for you!
      I am glad I don't work for Royal Mail. So confusing...!

      Delete
    8. To all you dissenters: Bishop Pat has my email address and knows the 'real deal'.๐Ÿ˜†

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    9. No you're not, I am! ROFL

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    10. MC Blue at 14:37 - you mean he has your fake made up email address? Is it Magnacarta@hotmale.cum?

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    11. PMSL @ 22:57!
      As has been commented here repeatedly a blogger profile can be set up by anyone. An email address can be set up by anyone. They prove nothing unless there is a real person identifiable.
      I think the original pretend Magna Carta is more of a yahoo man than hotmail. In fact I have a feeling he still occasionally gives his Compuserve address and has to correct himself.
      Magna Cartar will be much more up to date and probably rarely uses email these days.

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    12. If that woman RIP had really cared all that much about the welfare of other girls, she would not have been encouraging prostitution at all in my opinion. Others want it promoted and made so commonplace that, having lost any sense of stigma, it can then be regarded as perfectly legal to use a woman, throw some money on table, discard her, walk out and let the next guy in. Does this encourage society and impressionable young men in particular, to think of women as being worthy of their greatest respect? (My father taught me this by the example of the respectful way he treated my mother) All legal and above board is to be the aim then? . Is this really the sort of society we want to actively promote with our majority seal of approval...And the fact that "it goes on anyway" is unfortunate but NOT any reason for giving it the message that we're in approval and happy to endorse.

      Delete
  11. Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia are dictatorships.

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  12. The sage speaks again expressing "anything goes" morality so long as it's consensual. The "Pat says" comments are flawed and misleading. Yes, if two adults consent to sexual behaviour, that's their business in privacy. That happens all the time. But that's very different from saying we should legislate for freedom for a sex trade indystry. I'm sure Pat you are aware of the exploitation, abuse, control and manipulation which is rife in the sex industry. Let's be clear - consensual sex between two adults is fine once they harm no one and is not criminal but promoting a sex trade has its downside and very serious moral consequences. Ask those charities who work with women in the sex trade and you'll find a very unsavoury story. Society requires moral laws, principles and boundaries to protect us and guide us. We cannot have an "anything goes" attityde so long as ut's private and sadly today's society promotes a narcissistic, selfish, "all about me" philosophy. Incidentally Pat, speculating on the cause of Laura's death is wrong and must be very hurtful to her family. Very wrong.

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    Replies
    1. Laura was a public and controversial figure and died at 39. Even those who are saddened by her sudden death will wonder what happened?

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    2. @9.32

      Your comment is clearly based on a misunderstanding of the law.

      Until recently two consenting adults in a private dwelling having sex was not illegal even if money exchanged hands. A recent change resulting in two consenting adults in the same scenario being deemed as breaking the law because if the exchange of money.

      I believe that this is what was being challenged. The question if a wider change of laws relating to wholesale legalisation of brothels is different.

      I dont believe in brothels being legal. But I do believe that people should have liberty to consent to sex regardless of motivation where all parties can consent (even where that motivation is financial).

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    3. You're endorsing the legalisation of brothels in other words.

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    4. No I am not. Until last year prostitution was legal and brothels were not. Neither was pimping. A person working as a sole trader was legal. How dare you put words in my mouth.

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  13. What about a yank or an African representing a foreign state living in Dublin telling clergy here how they should live their lives??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But think through the implications of what you say re/African representing a "foreign state" telling clergy how they should "live their lives
      Is the African speaking as a representative of his own home State at that moment? - - Or is he speaking in his capacity and role as a Universal Church leader entrusted to give guidance?
      After all , you are the one who still keeps insisting that Church and State should be completely separate . So there you have it in action...

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  14. The Nuncio does not take the Irish Government to court in order to change Irish laws.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. But church tells people how to vote.

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    2. I hate when people, priests or anyone else tells me how vote but you have to remember and acknowledge that the Church has a God-given duty and mission to teach and guide its members especially when there is a popular but immoral stance being hammered at us eg in the press. Evil happens when good men stand back, shrug their shoulders and say nothing.

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    3. Pat at 14.07: The Church no longer tells people how to vote. That's absurd nonsense and untrue. Those days have truly past. But, unlike you, the Church has core beliefs, truths and teachings it will not compromise, however inconvenient that may appear to many, especially its belief in the dignity and sanctity of the unborn child and in protecting the right to life of the unborn child. Incidentally Pat, many of the charities who work with women caught in the sex trade have more wxperience than you and they would not endorse the "once it doesn't harm anyone" philosophy you support. Many women who thought their sexual encounters were private found themselves entrapped like slaves in this sordid business. I think we should have clear moral principles re: regulation of the sex industry.

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    4. Voting, one person one vote, in the privacy of the ballot box, whether guided by bishops or not, is very different from a non-elected, non-citizen using the courts to overturn a law of a democratically elected Assembly.

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    5. Shame a jew didnt use the courts to overturn the laws of a democratically elected assembly in 1930s germany. Democracy does not trump civil rights.

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  15. It would be a good idea to ask posters to suggest their own ternas to fill the five or six vacancies in Irish dioceses.

    It might be argued though that appearing on this blog would be the kiss of death. Timothy Bartlett has already made a number of appearances.

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    Replies
    1. Timo’s name has mostly been suggested as a joke though - because everyone knows he’s gagging for it (to be a bishop).

      It’s never a good idea to appoint someone so overtly ambitious. The Irish Church, past and some still present, is littered with men who wanted to be bishops for their own vanity’s sake.

      We should learn from these mistakes. McAreavey is another example. He’s useless. He’s disinterested and lazy. Ask the clergy of Dromore?

      Why appoint men who are simply climbers? Anyone who “wants” to be a bishop is never healthy and never a good choice.

      Timo has spent his whole career desperately seeking preferment and ladder climbing. He inveigles his way in with the high and the mighty and has the knack of making himself indispensable. He did it with wounded healer Seรกn Brady.

      He’s suave, a smooth operator and sycophantic; but not really all that gifted in the skills we need in a modern bishop. He has no pastoral experience and no interest in being a pastor.

      He’s good at charming “the great and the good”. He’s running the front house of this World Meeting of Families and it has been remarked that he only speaks English (this being an international gathering of the Church). Someone at least with Italian, Spanish or French you would think? Well I suppose there is google translate :-)

      In any case, he might achieve his ambition of becoming a bishop. Will it make him happy though? Will it be good for the diocese that gets him? Is it what God wants for him? Que sera sera! ;-)

      Delete
    2. Re/Timo a possible bishop.... Can I give you a taste of old wisdom? - The way to make something get into the public consciousness as a "real possibility" is to continually hint at it in a joking manner!
      This is so true that it is a device used in marketing all sorts of products . An example? Well,people use to jeer at very rich folk "more money than sense paying for their poodle to have a fortnight in an upmarket kennel like that! What will the dogs do all day--have their nails painted?!!". A wisecrack made so often that eventually someone said "Why not!"
      Now, doggie hotels exist with dog grooming and manicure all available in many cities in America and in London etc That's only one example among many .

      Delete
    3. Tom Deenihan

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  16. When somebody's name keeps appearing as a suggested person for a particular role, there could be an unexpected reason for that ... Perhaps he really IS the best choice and could defy all odds. It has happened many times in history.

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    Replies
    1. I believe that St Ambrose was elected by the popular acclaim of the people of Milan. Would it be worthwhile setting up an online petition to get Clonfert for Tim, for example?

      Delete
    2. If it’s “popular acclaim of the people” to get Timothy elected, then he hasn’t a pup’s chance.

      If it’s kissing bishops’ and cardinals’ arses all his life, then he’s a dead cert. lol

      Delete
  17. Please provide one example!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An example of a kissin' bishop ??

      Delete
    2. As a starter for 10, how about Keith Cardinal O'Brien; Bishop Casey; Roddy Wright of Argyll and the Isles; Bishop Barros (Francis's mate) and, possibly, the blog host with the most, Pat Buckley!

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  18. Could someone explain to me in basic English what this woman did when alive
    Was she a prostitute?
    Did she run a brothal
    Or was she trying to get men to stop using prostitutes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of the above and she wanted other jurisdictions to do the same, even if the elected representatives disagreed.

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    2. A head-the-ball but I have sympathy for the woman's family.

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  19. Dublin will be vacant soon.

    1. Bernard Fellay;

    2. Pat Buckley;

    3. The Clogher curate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dublin will be vacant soon and several other dioceses.

      1. Definitely not Magna Carta or the clampit who pretends to be him.

      2. Maybe Pip and her budgies.

      3. Sr. Mary or the one that pretends to be her.

      4. Dalriada Dick on his big chair.

      Delete
    2. 5..And lovely wee Sadie "on the sofa"!

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    3. The Clogher terna has been leaked. It contains no great surprises.

      1. Joe McGuinness

      2. Joe McGuinness

      3. Joe McGuinness

      Delete
    4. @ 13.53
      That sounds like a Mc Guinness bargain, better than Tescos...!
      Three for the price of one ..

      Delete
  20. Sympathy to Ms Lee's family and colleagues. Sex work should be legalised for the protection of all and subject to health safety and tax regulations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with sympathy to Ms Lee 's family (RIP)
      I do not agree that we should endorse something that encourages men to regard women as a commodity that you can use if you was walk in and throw down your money. The fact that some women justify it themselves doesn't change that reality one bit---in fact, the opposite I would say.
      If that's how a man sees women, then that is very sad. No amount of windowdressing can disguise the unpalatable truth. We shouldn't cloud the issue with all sorts of excuses and throw in the towel with "Sure, it will happen anyway.."
      That is what tends to happen though.

      Delete
  21. Hope Pat arrives home safely.
    snowing!!!!

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  22. Well done, Francis http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/january-26th-2018/is-latin-america-still-catholic/

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  23. Whenever I witness contributors on here, some of who may well be priests, attacking you Pat and then I see the obfuscation and downright deception and lies perpetrated by bishops and senior priests then I feel these contributors should take a big hike.

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  24. Not often I disagree with you Sean....but I don’t believe in the word sex work.
    No woman should allow herself be abused like that.
    And young men should be taught to respect women and not use them for sex.

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  25. And the terna for Cork and Ross?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom Clancy thinks he should be on it.

      Delete
  26. Every vacant Irish diocese12 February 2018 at 18:39

    Who do we want? TIMBO!

    When do we want him? NOW!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Did Laura Lee not live in Kilmarnock and was Laura her birth name

    ReplyDelete