Category: Archive

Sex shop puts blot on plans for revival of O’Connell Street

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — Plans for a sex shop opposite the GPO on O’Connell Street is causing an uproar.

The UK-based Ann Summers chain, which specializes in "exotic lingerie and marital aids," is taking over a large space once occupied by a shoe shop as its first outlet in the Republic.

The chain, which has a shop in Belfast, has already established a presence in Ireland, holding private women-only parties to sell its wares in much the same way as Tupperware markets its kitchen container products.

The company has sought permission to open from the Dublin Corporation, which is investing £40 million to return the street to its former grandeur. And it seems that despite the Corporation’s opposition to the shop, it apparently has no legal power to stop it.

Announcing its facelift plan last year, the Corporation said the

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

street has been "asleep for 30 years" and expressed concern about

how run down it had become, with fast food restaurants, discount stores and slot-machine premises proliferating.

Under the Corporation’s plan, a stainless steel cone will replace Nelson’s Pillar, which was blown up by republicans in 1966, traffic will be reduced, and a new urban space, defined by plantings, will be created in front of the GPO, across from the sex shop.

Much of O’Connell Street was rebuilt after having been destroyed in the 1916 when the GPO was seized as the headquarters of the Rising and was subsequently mortared by a British gunboat on the Liffey.

Tom Coffey chief executive of Dublin City Center Traders’ Association strongly opposes the shop.

"What we are trying to do is to make O’Connell Street a better street," he said. "This is a setback.

"It is a street with historic resonances because of the GPO and because of what the British did to this country, and it ill behooves a UK property company coming in here to do this again to us. It shows a lack of sensitivity to a country where you are a guest."

Coffey said it was an unacceptable development on the main

thoroughfare and was more suitable for another street in the city.

The Summers chain already has 22 sex shops in the UK, some on main streets there It sells a wide selection of goods, ranging from edible bras to vibrators, handcuffs and PVC outfits.

It plans to open its Dublin shop on July 30.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese