7 August 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
TG4 Doco Examines Prostitution in Ireland
29 Apr 2008 :
Three-part documentary ‘Striapacha: Tri Chead Bliain Duailcis’ (Prostitutes: Three Hundred Years of Vice), written and directed by BAFTA nominee Virginia Gilbert, kicks off on Thursday May 1st on TG4.

The Blinder Films / TG4 Production, produced by Katie Holly, examines the social, religious and political circumstances that have shaped Irish attitudes towards women, female sexuality and sexuality in general and explores how three centuries of Irish society have engaged with and responded to the trade of prostitution.

“The series is an attempt to trace the history of this hidden group of women over the past three hundred years - a history that has not really been hugely explored,” said Gilbert, who recently received a BAFTA nomination for her short film ‘Hesitation’. “It also explores the society in which these women operated and the forces that shaped responses and reactions to the sex trade. The series attempts to shed light on society's efforts to tackle the prostitution issue in order that we might have a more informed debate on the current situation.”

Episode One, ‘Enlightened Vice’ explores prostitution in Ireland in the 18th century; Episode Two, ‘Poor, Unfortunate Girl’ highlights how with the rise in poverty after the Great Famine came a rise in prostitution and Episode Three, ‘The Pleasure Chest’ deals with the increasingly visible sex industry in modern day Ireland.

The doco, produced in association with the BCI Sound & Vision Scheme, combines real-life case studies with commentary and analysis from expert interviewees including Senator David Norris, Senator Ivana Bacik, TD Liz McManus and journalist Paul Reynolds. The series, narrated by Carrie Crowley, also contains interviews from two working prostitutes and a former client. Irish actors who lend their voice over talent to the series include Gerard McSorely (Inside I’m Dancing), Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Goldfish Memory), Anita Reeves (Adam and Paul), Declan Conlon (The Tudors) and Lesley Conroy (Eden).

’Striapacha: Tri Chead Bliain Duailcis’ screens at 10.15 pm on TG4 on May 1st, 8th and 15th 2008.

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