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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Senator Sharon Keogan — Kellie Harrington Media Witch-hunt

I wish to support Senator O’Loughlin in for calls for fertility legislation and also her call regarding the Women of Honour group. This House needs a debate on the treatment of women in this country. The Leader can decide whether the Minister for Justice or the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth needs to be here for it, but it needs to happen now.

Like many in the House, I have been following the horrific treatment of one of our Irish sportswomen, Ms Kellie Harrington, by the media over the past 24 hours. Having been invited on to Newtalk's "Off the Ball" radio show to promote women's participation in sport, she was in her own accurate words hung out to dry by a presenter who used his time to grill her on whether or not she was correctly toeing the progressive party line. Kellie rightly refused to engage with this because she knew that if she put even one foot wrong regarding the issue of immigration, that which must not be discussed, the media would tear her to shreds and boy, they have proved her right because, of course, she committed the worst crime of all - wrongthink.

We do not know what Kellie's opinions are on immigration or trans-identifying persons in sports nor do we have the right to demand them from her. She is a boxer, not a politician. Her apparently scandalous deleted tweet said that it was very sad that a 12-year-old French girl had been sexually assaulted, mutilated, strangled and her body stuffed into a suitcase. What is wrong with saying that? Even if she does hold the taboo opinions that biological males should not compete against women in sport, and that year after year of unprecedented levels of uncontrolled migration into the country is unsustainable and will have negative knock-on effects, so what? These are views shared by massive portions of our population. Words are one thing, however. Violence is quite another despite the efforts of many on the left to conflate the two in order to control speech and silence dissent.

Women's rights promoter Ms Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull was recently assaulted in a Let Women Speak event in New Zealand on Saturday. Counter protesters in the form of radical trans activists threatened and attacked attendees and an additional event was cancelled due to credible threats on Ms Keen-Minshull's life. She is coming to Ireland to speak on 15 April. We are taking a two-week holiday from Thursday so we need to prepare now. What plans does the Minister have to ensure the physical well-being of women and their children? Will they be protected at that event? Has the Minister or Garda Commissioner assessed the need for personal security arrangements for Ms Keen-Minshull? Does the Government think that the women of Ireland are worthy of protection? If so, we need to talk about it and it should happen here and now. I would welcome if the Leader could urgently call the Minister for Justice into the House because this protest might turn into something rather nasty and we do not want that to happen.

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