Stringfellow promises 'no lapdancing' at Dublin club

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The London clubowner Peter Stringfellow has got the go-ahead for a new establishment in Dublin, but with legal conditions and limitations that will ensure it is much less raunchy than his British clubs.

Mr Stringfellow's counsel assured a Dublin court that there would be no actual lapdancing, which was defined as "the application of friction" between dancers and clients.

Everything will be on a strictly look-don't-touch basis, with women performing nude and topless dancing but being forbidden to mingle with clients.

These and other conditions imposed by the court for a club close to Dublin's famous O'Connell Street follow a campaign mounted by local residents and politicians. Protesters said yesterday they were disappointed with the outcome, as it would "lower the tone of the neighbourhood".

Mr Stringfellow himself was in court for the hearing and was later surrounded by television cameras. Local councillor Emer Costello said: "It was a bit of a media circus - great publicity for Stringfellow."

The club, which is due to open next month, is said to have cost €2m and will employ up to 80 dancing girls.

Mr Stringfellow dismissed the concerns of the protesters. He said: "The area needs upgrading. I'm bringing a club in that is more sophisticated than the immediate area." Of the campaigners, he said: "I would suggest they accept my reputation, which is internationally recognised."

Maria Mhic Mheanmain, a spokesperson for the North Inner-City Residents Group, said the area had suffered from a drugs problem and high unemployment but had recently benefited from regeneration.

She said: "It really is an up-and-coming area. I feel that the club will only serve to bring the area down."

Although the Irish Republic was once renowned for its puritanical approach to sexual display, it has become more liberal in the past decade.