Irish lap dancing was hit by a fusillade of criticism last week from the Ruhama Women’s Project, which seeks to help women escape from prostitution.
Maura Connelly, director, called the opening of a lap dancing club in Milltown, Co. Kildare, “part of the rapid expansion of the globalized sex industry.”
She noted that the perception that lap dancing is innocent fun disguised the fact that it often leads directly to fulltime prostitution.
Milltown has a population of 300 people and locals are demanding why the Chicken Ranch, touted as “Kildare’s premier lap-dancing club,” is opening there.
Said Connelly: “Lap dancing is portrayed as innocent fun. Is this an acceptable form of entertainment that we want our sons, brothers and husbands to go to? It should be outlawed without a doubt.”
At a press conference she introduced Louise Eek, a Swedish woman who started out lap dancing in the 1970s and soon became a prostitute.
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HOT AIR IN CARLOW
Carlow hosted a unique exhibition last week, reports the Carlow Nationalist newspaper.
Hot Air was a balloon-themed event, inspired by modern artists such as Andy Warhol, Izuru Kasahara and Lee Bul. It is an imaginative and interactive balloon exhibition featuring original balloon pieces by international artists.
The exhibition of large-scale balloon art is the first such exhibition in Ireland and Hot Air has never been seen outside Japan, where it received more than 5,000 visitors per day.
The event was organized as part of the Visualize Carlow program, and will lead to the opening of a contemporary art center in the county.
NEW BRIDGES FOR NEWBRIDGE
Aptly, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, will get two new bridges to cross the Liffey as part of a multi-million-euro road improvement program. The bridges will be near the cemetery on the Athgarvan Road and at Newbridge College.
The bridge at the college would be linked to Buckley’s Cross (the Wyeth roundabout) by a new road that would run across the existing college sports field.
The Athgarvan Road bridge would be part of a new outer ring road which run around the south of Newbridge, linking the Naas Road with the Green Road.
Such projects are becoming increasingly urgent, the Kildare Nationalist newspaper noted, as Ireland’s traffic congestion, direst in Dublin, steadily worsens.
WESTPORT WOOS TOURISTS
Westport won Ireland’s tidiest town last year and, according to the Western people newspaper, has capitalized on the achievement ever since.
Well-known as one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns, it attracts thousands of visitors to Co. Mayo every year.
Westport was one of the few planned towns in Ireland, though it fits into its natural surroundings perfectly, not least the looming Croagh Patrick mountain.
“Winning the Tidy Towns was absolutely fantastic from a tourism point of view,” said Brian Quinn, executive director of Mayo Naturally. “It gave Westport an advertising platform that money couldn’t buy. To have ‘Ireland’s Tidiest Town’ emblazoned on literature promoting the town made it stand out. Nobody can compete with that.”
HAUGHEY IN KERRY
Charlie Haughey continues to make the newspapers in Ireland. Last week, the disgraced former Taoiseach was in Kerry to start the Dingle Regatta.
Looking tanned and relaxed, Haughey moved through the streets of Dingle with ease throughout the weekend and was seen meeting and greeting many of those who made a trip to the famous regatta.
Haughey arrived on his yacht Celtic Mist.
Ballymun residents were concerned last week after a report in the Northside People newspaper that the government may not extend the LUAS light rail system to the area.
These fears arise following reports that proposals by Iarnrod Eireann to construct a conventional rail link between Connolly Station and Dublin Airport, branching off the Maynooth line, may go ahead.
“If a separate line is now to be built to the airport, it may tempt the government to scrap the Ballymun LUAS line,” said Sean O’Cionnaith, Ballymun Workers’ Party representative.
“Already it is clear that this government is intent on cutting costs and it already long-fingered the Ballymun line while the two Ssouthside lines went ahead. I call on the government to give a very solid and definite date for completion of this project which is essential to the rejuvenation of Ballymun,” he said.
In Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, last week, more than 200 families were evacuated and firefighters and police managed to prevent a tragedy after a potentially huge gas explosion was avoided.
Over 20 tons of liquid petroleum gas, used in gas ovens and heaters, leaked from a storage tank and formed a massive and potentially lethal gas cloud over the Annaghmore Road area.
Firefighters, police and soldiers swung into action and cleared a one-mile zone around the invisible but deadly cloud.
“Just after 10 p.m. on Monday night, police received a call from a resident at Annaghmore Road who said there was a strong smell of gas coming from a field to the rear of houses,” a spokesperson told the Tyrone Courier. “The resident said the smell had become so strong that he had to move out. Police immediately contacted the Fire Service, who were tasked to the scene and shortly afterward a number of 999 calls relating to the same incident were made to police.”