Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher says he wants to see the self-styled “pick-up artist”  Julien Blanc prevented from entering the country.  The 25 year old is due to arrive in Ireland next June as part of his world tour. 

Deputy Kelleher commented, “This is a man who is travelling the world making money by promoting emotional and physical abuse against women.  He actively encourages the continued sexualisation and objectification of women through his seminars and bootcamps, which he plans to bring to Dublin next summer.  In my view, as a country we should simply say ‘no thanks’ and block his travel here through refusal of a work visa.

“The Government and the authorities invest heavily in ensuring that the sort of behaviour and abuse promoted by Julien Blanc is not tolerated in this country on a day to day basis. It seems to me that it would be entirely counter-productive and would actually serve to undermine public policy if we were to facilitate his sick routine here.

“Irish audiences are well used to confronting provocative and challenging humour, theatre and art.  And rightly so, as our own artistic heritage is among the richest and most challenging in the world. But when someone packages abuse and manipulation of women into an event, and tries to market it in our country as a harmless bit of fun, we move into different territory entirely.  If we have the potential to stop it we should.  In this case, we can say no thanks to misogyny and simply refuse a visa.

“Thousands of people across this country have already made their feelings known by signing the Change.org petition and the Government needs to listen to, respect and stand up for the women and men who don’t buy into what Mr Blanc is trying to sell.”