herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Residents claim victory as sex shop near school will not open after owner hands back keys

Protest

Sex shop protest in Drumcondra
Sex shop protest in Drumcondra

A CONTROVERSIAL sex shop on Dublin's northside will not open after a campaign against it by neighbouring residents was successful.

Dublin householders and parents in Drumcondra were claiming victory last night after the proprietor of the sex shop handed back the keys to the Richmond Road premises.

The proposed business, Play Blue Shop, was to be located around 50 metres from St Patrick's Boy's National School in the area.

Co-owners of the shop Robert Doyle and Richie Cullen met with the landlord for the premises, Michael O'Keeffe, and Vincent Kelly, of Kelly-Bradshaw-Dalton, over the weekend where the possibility of a compensation package to prevent the shop opening in the area was brought up.

PETITION

Until last night, nothing had emerged from this.

Fine Gael councillor Noel Rock led a petition against the shop yesterday morning, and said that there was another meeting between the three interest groups set to take place last night.

Following this, it emerged that the shop will not open. No details of any agreement were made public.

Mr Rock said that "people power" in Drumcondra had won the day.

"Last Wednesday night, we had our first meeting on the issue. Yesterday morning, we had a protest and last night the keys were handed over.

"I'm delighted by the outcome," he said.

Mr Kelly told the Herald that he had taken control of contract for the premises.

"I live in Drumcondra and I didn't want something like that opening in the area," he said.

Yesterday morning more than 30 people had assembled outside the Play Blue shop to protest against the shop which was due to open tomorrow. During the protest, co-owner Richie Cullen was adamant his business would open despite objections.

The businessman who runs Playblue.ie along with business partner, Robert Doyle, said that he has been putting final touches to the premises for a number of weeks. He was shocked at the presence of the petitioners at such a late stage.

"It was the last thing I expected to be honest. People have left their issues with it until the last minute. I've been working on the place for the past couple of weeks, and it's not like you wouldn't notice my presence around the place," he told the Herald yesterday as the protest took place.

complaints

Another adult store, called Scandalous, has been in Kilkenny City since 1997, and was taken over by the pair in 2013.

Mr Doyle said that there have been no complaints to the shop on Pudding Lane, Kilkenny, so he never thought there would be any issues.

"We are close to a number of schools in Kilkenny, with no issue, and I don't know where you'd go in Dublin without being in close proximity to a school.

"We weren't keeping it a secret. If you're opening a betting shop for example, you're not going to knock on every resident's door and tell them about it," said Mr Doyle.

The biggest gripe for residents against the shop is its close proximity to the all-boys primary school, but Mr Doyle said the location was pivotal in taking on the property.

"The location was the main reason we chose to set up here. You're looking at 70,000 to 80,000 cars going past here each day, there's easy access to the M50 so the location was absolutely number one in our minds," he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Cullen had promised that the shop would be discreet.

"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," he said.

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