Is Ireland Still Too Conservative?

Last week, Dublin MEP, Emer Costello called for adult entertainment stores and lap dancing clubs to be regulated by the government.

The Dublin City Business Association (DCBA) is calling for adult stores and lap dancing clubs to be shut down in the South William Street area after they published a study in which the DCBA pointed out that it is one of the Dublin’s main shopping districts.

In her statement, Ms Costello explained that: “as a Dublin City Councillor, I proposed an amendment to the Development Plan to prohibit adult shops in residential areas. The motion, supported by all parties, was carried almost unanimously but in the absence of regulation it has no force in law.”

When speaking to the, Ms Costello stated that these businesses can “often but not always be linked to criminality and prostitution.” Her main aim is to move these stores away from residential, school and thriving public areas. The MEP also added that she would like to see this industry regulated like it is in the UK, where they are subject to severe licensing and planning regulations.

So in light of this, the question has to be asked – is Ireland still too conservative?

The College View set up two online polls asking students, aged between 18-29 the question: ‘should adult stores and lap dancing clubs should be regulated?’ and secondly: ‘is Ireland is still too conservative?’.

From the first poll, 37% of students surveyed agreed that adult entertainment stores should be regulated, while the majority of 61% declared that it really doesn’t concern them and that they didn’t care if the stores and clubs were regulated. While the remaining 2% said they should be shut down altogether.

Adam Assahli, a Law student in DCU stated that adult stores and lap dancing clubs do “need to be regulated, regardless if Ireland is still too conservative or not, because people clearly want these shops and the government is making revenue from them. Shutting them down altogether would push criminality up because people will still seek them out, so it’s the more efficient and safest method.”

In the second survey, 83% of students in the poll agreed that Ireland is still too conservative and old- fashioned. Even though it’s 2012, there are still some matters with which Ireland upholds a strict Catholic view; abortion and same-sex marriages are the most prominent and frequently mentioned issues.

UCD student, Matthew Farrelly remarked: “of course Ireland is still too conservative, this is a Catholic country after all.”
When the 17% who disagreed that Ireland is still too conservative, were asked ‘how is Ireland current?’, they said: “we are free to make our own decisions and if the government want to regulate lap dancing clubs and adult stores let them, sure most people use the internet now for that sort of thing. We could be living in a worse place than this, so we think people just need to chill.”

Only the future will tell what’s in store for the culture of Ireland, but let’s hope it’s a little more liberal.

Fiona McGrath

Image Credit: ojbyrne

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