herald

Friday 21 November 2014

Storm as rape claim club offers drinks for girls' underwear

FURY greeted a sick promotion in which a nightclub offers free drinks in return for girls' underwear.

The publicity stunt by Tramco in Rathmines has been described as grossly "insensitive" given that it was the scene of an alleged sexual assault on a Junior Cert girl in June.

The 15-year-old student complained to gardai that she was assaulted by a boy from another school in the gents' toilets.



Objectifying

Now the same club has launched a bizarre promotion calling on young men and women to exchange undergarments for a free drink.

"No other club is offering a free drink for your underwear. That's right, you give us your underwear and we give you a free drink," boasts the club's Facebook page.

Spokesperson for the Rape Crisis Centre, Ellen O'Malley Dunlop, condemned the promotion.

"This is just totally insensitive after the incident that happened in the club. It's promotions like this which are objectifying sexual behaviour. I don't understand why the club are asking for underwear and not a jacket.

"Why would management insist on going ahead with something like this?" she asked.

"People are entitled to have fun but this is just totally exploitative and objectifying. We certainly wouldn't be supporting something like that."

Chief executive of Drinkaware.ie, Fionnuala Sheehan, said it was not uncommon for nightclubs to create promotions that focus on sexual behaviour.

"In general, there is a consensus that promotional activity is associated with bravado and sexual prowess," she said.

Ms Sheehan explained that these promotions are not uncommon, but she said drinkaware.ie would not be supportive of such promotions.

In June this year, a 14-year-old boy was arrested after he allegedly raped a young girl in the gents' toilet.



Promotion

The alleged attacker was caught by security staff and handed over to gardai.

The club was attended by Junior Cert students celebrating the end of their exams. No alcohol was sale. The club reopened the following night.

When contacted by the Herald a staff member confirmed the promotion was going ahead but refused to comment.

hnews@herald.ie

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