Mary’s outrage at “pornographic image”

Founder of RENEW, Mary Doherty
Founder of RENEW, Mary Doherty

A former General Election candidate has asked the Council to take action against a billboard which she claims is a “sexualised, degrading, offensive and pornographic” image in Buncrana.

Mary Doherty from the Buncrana based Renew group hit out against the billboard erected by an Inishowen nightclub in the town.

In a letter to former Mayor Michael Grant, Ms Doherty said she felt the image was “selling women as sex objects” and therefore felt it was a “violation of women’s basic human rights.

“Images like these are a denial of women’s right to human dignity and (it) is sex discrimination.”

The Buncrana woman claimed “images like the one of the billboard fuels the demand for more women and children being trafficked and made to work in the sex industry.”

Founder of The Renew group, Ms Doherty feels “advertising has an undeniable impact on public behaviour and shaping public opinion.”

“To have this advertisement on a public highway and on view to children and teenagers with the message that it is ok to depict women as inferior beings who can be exploited as sex objects.”

The Renew group, which was founded in 2009, believes “that marriage between a man and a woman is the basis of any stable society and the best environment for the healthy nurturing of children” and felt they needed to do something about “the commercial exploitation of human sexuality, the objectification of women and the sexualisation of children by the media.”

The group called on the council to take action against this type of advertising and remove this image from the billboard.

“Article 10-16 of the Television without Frontiers Directive states that advertising shall not prejudice respect for human dignity, including any discrimination on grounds of race, sex and nationality.”

Ms Doherty added that Renew is a voluntary organisation campaigning on behalf of its members who want to see an end to the sale and display of pornography because of its damaging and harmful effects to men, women and children.

Executive planner for Buncrana Town Council, Martin McDermott confirmed at Wednesday’s monthly council meeting that he had responded to Ms Doherty and also confirmed an investigation had been opened.

However Mr McDermott added that complaints were prioritised and they would get to the group’s compliant to reach a conclusion.

It is believed the billboard has since been replaced.