Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said that a new initiative supported by An Garda Síochana should be rolled out across Dublin venues and in conjunction with Dublin City Council.

Originally launched by Lincolnshire County Council in the UK, ‘Ask for Angela’ has since made its way to Waterford and Limerick. The Crumlin based Senator is now urging for it to be introduced in the Capital.

Speaking in Seanad Éireann , Senator Ardagh said, “With the huge rise in popularity of dating apps and deceptive ‘Catfishing’ it’s crucially important that people feel as though they can safely remove themselves from an uncomfortable situation; say for instance if a pre-arranged date isn’t working out as planned or you become separated from friends.

“Providing people with a subtle phrase that they can use to get out of uncomfortable or potentially dangerous scenario is a proactive way of reducing sexual violence or harassment.

“No one should be left to feel unsafe or nervous in a situation they would rather be discreetly taken away from on a night out.

“This campaign has the real potential to help all genders, every age group and people of all sexual orientations. Posters can be displayed in bars and venues so that people are aware of the code word scheme and can alert staff if ever they feel unsafe or threatened.

“All those working in hospitality in Dublin should be encouraged to get on board with the initiative which is good for business and even safer for customers.

“I have written to the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, Eoin Keegan and also to the Licensed Vintners Association to request their support for this scheme,” concluded Senator Ardagh.