Butler wants to ban tattoos for under-18s

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A TD wants to ban tattoos for people under the age of 18.

Mary Butler, Fianna Fáil deputy for Waterford, was responding to the case of a man who was given a prison sentence for tattooing his eight-year-old son.

She said the case highlights the need for broader regulation in the body art sector.
Ms Butler has previously introduced legislation to ban tattoos and intimate piercings for juveniles.

If passed, it would outlaw tattoos and intimate body piercings for under-18s and strengthen health and safety regulation in the sector.

Setting an age limit effectively legislates for what is best practice and will target rogue operators

“It’s clear that we need regulation in this area,” said the TD. “The uncertainty over consent and regulation in the sector disputed in this case can be completely removed by making it illegal for anyone to tattoo or give an intimate piercing to anyone under the age of 18, regardless of consent.

“Rather than leaving it to the uncertainty of a rare criminal prosecution we need to give legal clarity and regulation.

“This horrific case highlights the need to send a clear message that it is unacceptable to ink someone under the age of 18. Setting an age limit effectively legislates for what is best practice and will target rogue operators.”

The father-of-six tattooed a one-centimetre dot on his son’s arm using a tattoo gun with a needle point, a court was told.

father-of-six tattooed a one-centimetre dot on his son’s arm

He was charged with assault after the mother discovered what had happened, became “furious” and went to Gardaí.

Sgt Brian Jacob said the boy complained after that his arm was sore. The tattoo was a 1cm inked “dot” on the boy’s left upper arm. It was done without the permission of the boy or the mother, Sgt Jacob said. The boy was “still left with the mark”.

The court heard it was done with a tattoo gun with a needle point which “goes in and out like a sewing machine” and squirts ink under the skin.

The woman took her son to hospital, where it was treated as a “needle stick injury”.
Athy District Court heard the parents were separated and the incident happened during an access visit.

The nine-month sentence is concurrent to a two-year sentence the father is serving for possession of drugs.

Defence barrister Aisling Murphy said the man did not accept he did it without the boy’s permission.

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