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Saturday 3 December 2016

Fury as sex shop to open near school, but owners insist 'it will be discreet'

Richie Cullen outside the sex shop which is being renovated in Drumcondra Dublin. Pic: Justin Farrelly.
Richie Cullen outside the sex shop which is being renovated in Drumcondra Dublin. Pic: Justin Farrelly.
Noel Cocoman owner of Feet and Co. shoe shop in Drumcondra Dublin.

A BUSINESSMAN opening a sex shop across the road from a school has insisted his shop will be "discreet".

"A poster for 50 Shades of Grey in a shop would be much more explicit than we are," said co-owner Robert Doyle.

Locals have expressed outrage over the plan to open the adult store near St Patrick's Boys National School in Drumcondra.

But the owners of 'Playblue' have defended the shop.

"We don't even use the word sex anywhere - the only thing that would be written on the shop would be 'adult store' and that is it," said Mr Doyle.

Local councillor Noel Rock said he was inundated with calls from "over 50 residents" objecting to the store opening.

"There's a lot of frustration in the community that this is going in within 10 days," he said.

Cllr Rock said he had written to the Environment Minister about retail planning rules that don't treat adult stores any differently to other types of retail premises. No special permission is needed to open a sex shop so there is no formal process to object.

Noel Cocoman, who owns nearby children's shoe shop 'Feet and Co', said he was "very annoyed" that he could not prevent the business moving in.

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Noel Cocoman, who owns nearby children's shoe shop 'Feet and Co'

"It kind of lowers the area a bit, this is not the area for that at all," he said.

"People are disgusted that this is happening, and people can't prevent it because it's not considered a change of use," he said.

Playblue co-owner Robert Doyle said he was "quite surprised" by the criticisms of his store, and said the shop front will be "as discreet as you can get".

He owns the Playblue.ie brand with Richie Cullen, and also runs a store in Kilkenny.

Mr Cullen claimed that people were "overreacting" to the opening.

"I think you've got to give the kids a bit more cop, they're not going to be bothered about this shop across the way - they're hardly going to know what's in behind it," he said.

Sleazy

Mr Doyle said that there was "nothing sleazy" about the new shop.

"If someone wanted access to any sort of [pornographic] imagery; it is so much more accessible online than trying to barge your way into a shop where we are incredibly strict on access.

"There's nothing to see [on our shop front], children won't be allowed in, and we're hardly hanging around on street corners with placards," he said.

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