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Rudy rules for Dublin?

By Paul Ainsworth

AN up market area of Dublin is seeking to phase out "undesirable" businesses, including sex shops, lap-dancing clubs and fast food takeaways.

The swanky South William Street area of the city should be cleared of such businesses, according to a report by Dublin City Business Association, which also wants to see fewer bookmakers, tattoo parlors and tanning salons, this in a bid to maintain the area's "high-end" reputation.

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In an effort keep the area afloat during tough economic times, the association is keen to clear it of all on-street parking, to make it appealing to wealthy tourists and shoppers, and to distinguish it from the city's more run-down areas.

On the issue of sex shops, the report cites a similar scheme introduced by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in which stores selling adult entertainment were banned from operating within a certain distance from a school or "place of worship."

Worried association members are also keen to prevent the area, which is full of café's and boutiques, from becoming another Temple Bar area, packed full of pubs and late night revelers.

They envisage the area's future as similar to London's posh Covent Garden area, with more "specialist" retailers, and space for public art and street entertainers, while cyclists would also be given precedent over motorists.

Chief Executive of the Dublin City Business Association, Tom Coffey said: "We want this area to specialize for the top end of the market.

"We don't want a mass-market area. We also want to see less take-away fast food. There will always be a place for fast food, but it should not be dominant, or allowed to take over."